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WD build - Mana Hungry Bats

Discussion in 'Witch Doctor' started by Kuthar, Mar 28, 2012. | Replies: 11 | Views: 2173

  1. Kuthar

    Kuthar IncGamers Member

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    WD build - Mana Hungry Bats

    http://us.battle.net/d3/en/calculator/witch-doctor#cSZUdQ!bWU!ZZZZaZ

    Skill Choices

    Passives:
    Spiritual Attunement: More mana, and regen.

    Pierce the Veil: We plan on generating a lot of mana, so let's put it to use.

    Vision Quest: A big boost to our mana regen, and our four hotbar abilities are picked with this in mind.

    Primary/Secondary:
    Firebats: Our primary damage source. The rest of this build is focused around generating enough mana to spam this ability in every fight, while Locust Swarm picks off the stragglers. I chose vampire bats, as we should be dealing a lot of damage with this ability, and this rune choice will keep us healthy.

    Locust Swarm: We need a secondary ability that we can cast a couple times, and then let it do its thing while we channel bats. This is our spell. The Devouring Swarm rune is a great addition; we will gain some more mana as the swarms jump around.

    Hotbar:
    Grasp of the Dead: Our CC ability (on a cooldown for Vision Quest), extra slow to keep enemies at bay a few extra seconds while we blast them with bats.

    Spirit Walk: The build wants to be up close for bats, so this skill will give us the needed maneuverability if we get stuck, plus the mana regen from Honored Guest is great.

    Soul Harvest: Another cooldown ability for VQ, which will be very nice since we will be at close range for bats, and give us a big damage boost, as well as some mana from Swallow Your Soul.

    Big Bad Voodoo (w/ Rain Dance): This ability I'm not so sure of. I would have to try it out, maybe a Gargantuan will tank really nicely, and that would be better. As it stands, BBV will provide a nice damage boost, and large amount of mana in the difficult fights. The only problem is, in order to have Vision Quest active, we'll need to have this on cooldown all the time (or at least when we REALLY need VQ). Gargantuan might provide a better effect, as well as the incentive to keep the ability on cd all the time.
  2. FizzyBubbly

    FizzyBubbly IncGamers Member

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    Re: WD build - Mana Hungry Bats

    Bats are great and finding a build where you can hold left click for most of the game would be cool. However I do have concerns with Vision Quest as the build currently stands. Primarily most of the cooldowns are short meaning you would always want to cast the longest cooldown spell first so that by the time you finish casting the 4th cd spell you can make the most use of the 300% mana regen. Which would look like the following.

    Big Bad voodoo- 120 cd
    Soul Harvest- 15 cd
    spirit walk - 15 cd
    grasp - 8 cd

    Do you see the issue? At most you will have 8 seconds of 300% mana regen plus the regen from the spells. To do this however you are sacrificing the utility of the base spell. I think you have plenty of mana regen in the spells themselves so i would consider switching out vision quest for something like blood ritual. This will let your build flow rather then tie it to trying to get all your spells on cd.
  3. Kuthar

    Kuthar IncGamers Member

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    Re: WD build - Mana Hungry Bats

    Yea I get what you are saying, and I was thinking about that while creating the build, I kind of want longer cd abilities, but I don't want to pick up abilities that do nothing just for the sake of having VQ active. Yes, I will need to cast the other spells quite regularily, but I don't think I will necessarily be "sacrificing the utility" too much.

    Yes you technically only get Vision Quest active for 8 seconds at a time, but you want to recast all your abilities on cd, essentially, which means your total % uptime on VQ will be quite high overall even 4-5 seconds is a lot of time to spam bats.

    I don't want this to seem like I am trying to simply defend this build from all criticism, I certainly see your point, and it remains to be seen how much mana will be required to determine if VQ is really necessary or not. I agree blood ritual is a tempting passive, but maybe its a better replacement for Spiritual Attunement?
  4. z00t

    z00t IncGamers Member

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    Re: WD build - Mana Hungry Bats

    To expand on what FizzyBubbly said, I'm not a huge fan of Vision Quest because I feel it baits you into making bad plays.

    Like, you will feel compelled to put yourself in danger in order to cast Soul Harvest so you can get your Vision Quest passive bonus. Or imagine casting Spirit Walk to trigger Vision Quest, but then finding yourself needing it really bad 5 seconds later.

    I also wanted to just be able to hold down the button for Firebats and just keep it going for much longer time than usual, and actually came up with something not too different from yours: http://diablo.incgamers.com/forums/showthread.php?825150-Blood-Ritual-Vampire-Bats-build

    You should take a look since, well, this was my approach to tackle the exact same goal as yours - spam firebats :p. Incidentally, it DOES use blood ritual :p.
  5. FizzyBubbly

    FizzyBubbly IncGamers Member

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    Re: WD build - Mana Hungry Bats

    I actually like aspects of both your builds:

    -From Kuthar's build I think Locust Swarm-Devouring Swarm is perfect for this build Its a cast and go spell that does dmg, regens mana, and you don't tend to spam it like you would with haunt which frees up cast time for bats.

    -From Zoot's build the blood ritual has good synergy, however I feel that spirit walk can be replaced. Yes I understand that you want defense but i would choose a defense that would allow you to keep applying dmg. Between Gasp, Mass Confusion, and HORRIFY-face of death you have a very strong keep away game. Baddies really should be able to touch you that often. My final edit would be that of the jungle fortitude passive, 20% dmg reduction is great but i am all about things that are 2 for 1s and that lies in the passive Spirit Vessel. Switching to this passive you get your "spirit walk+regen" in those true OH sh#t situations plus cd reduction on your horrify. So thats actually like a 3 for 1.

    Mixing your builds together with some edits it came out like this:
    http://us.battle.net/d3/en/calculator/witch-doctor#acSZXj!VbX!aZZZbY
  6. z00t

    z00t IncGamers Member

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    Re: WD build - Mana Hungry Bats

    I did consider Locust Swarm, but it's got a very short cast range - it don't think that it can replace a tool to snipe important (and often mobile) enemies at long range (Haunt doesn't get 'blocked' by enemies inbetween you and your target, like Poison Darts). This is the main reason Haunt runed with Resentful Spirit is here.

    Also, when runed with Resentful Spirit, Haunt also deals 96% weapon dmg per second for 3 seconds. Compare that with Locust Swarm's 40% dmg per second for 8 seconds. I put Haunt in specifically to kill tough, single targets, since the way I see it, Firebats already does a good enough job clearing out hordes without Locust Swarm's help. But if I have both Locust Swarm AND Firebats, I don't really have a way to deal with a pack of say, 4 really TOUGH, elite champions, since both Firebats and Locust Swarm aren't very cost-efficient against only a handful of extremely tough enemies.

    Or even worse - trying to kill really tough SINGLE target like a superunique or boss, because Locust Swarm is even more wasted against a single target. :S Haunt + Poison Dart would give me much more bang for my buck.

    Spirit Vessel was actually a passive I considered as well, I'm definitely open to swapping that for Jungle Fortitude, depending on how the game goes.

    Horrify vs Spirit Walk is one of the great debates I have with myself. I *want* to like Horrify so badly, but it has a couple of issues I'm not happy with.

    1) Sometimes, if you Horrify enemies and they run away in all directions, that can sometimes leave you without a really safe place to run since you can sometimes only run in the same direction as at least one of your enemies.

    2) (and this is the REAL weakness of Horrify for me) Horrify straight-up doesn't work on certain monsters and bosses. I've tried to horrify a pack of Nightmarish Unburied, but it had no effect. What good is a panic button if I can't use it in the situations where I'd probably need it the most - when in trouble from a pack of elite champs? It also doesn't work against the Skeleton King....I'm not sure if it's just the Skeleton King, or if Horrify doesn't work on ANY of the bosses.

    Spirit Walk, on the other hand, can be use no matter who your opponent is.

    Yes, there is the potential that your Spirit Walk could be ended early (if your physical body takes 50% of your max health in damage), but getting to Spirit Walk for even 1 second is better than pressing the button for Horrify and only seeing the word "IMMUNE!" appear above your enemies' heads.

    There'll definitely be situations where Horrify will be more desirable than Spirit Walk, but just from theorycrafting, it really seems to me like Spirit Walk is the 'safer' of the two options if you only had room for one.

    But yeah, the 'core' of the idea behind the build is in yours as well. And Locust Swarm, even though I don't consider it optimal for the build's playstyle, is certainly not a bad spell. A lot of it is probably just personal preference/playstyle.
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2012
  7. Jaago

    Jaago IncGamers Member

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    Re: WD build - Mana Hungry Bats

    I think Vision Quest would work great if there was a fifth cooldown skill. I'd use Wall of Zombies with either Dead Rush or Pile On runes since they provide awesome burst damage every once in a while to complement a more consistent main skill. With only four it becomes a problem as z00t already pointed out, since Spirit Walk and Soul Harvest work a lot better if you have more room to maneuver their timing.

    I don't like horrify in a build like this, either, since it also scatters enemies, causing it take a lot longer to bat them down. Spirit Wal, on the other hand, would draw them together, allowing you to kill faster from your new position. This drawback of Horrify can be built around, of course, but that's a whole another witch doctor.

    And if you're not against summons, I would really recommend adding some to this build.


    Edit: So after mulling it over in my head, this is how I would build it:

    http://eu.battle.net/d3/en/calculator/witch-doctor#cZdjkP!YUT!YZbZca

    It's very similar to the build I have in another thread, which I made recently, which is not very surprising as I do have my preferences, many of my reasonings can be found there.
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2012
  8. superaffe

    superaffe IncGamers Member

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    Re: WD build - Mana Hungry Bats

    a thought: atm firebats takes like arround 10 or 5 sec to use up all your mana. the mana takes like 10 sec to get back to full.
    now: vision quest gives +300 % mana reg.
    that alone is infinite mana easily
    + on lvl 60 you will have a much bigger mana pool

    my personal opinion is that the "+300 % mana reg" will go down to 50 % or something

    btw:
    is there a thread with a list of animation-stackable skills?
  9. FizzyBubbly

    FizzyBubbly IncGamers Member

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    Re: WD build - Mana Hungry Bats

    Response to Zoots wall of text:

    I did read your reasons on your other thread for having haunt and they are valid for the purpose of wanting a single target nuke.
    In a vaccum against a single target haunt will do more dmg then locust. However throughout the play of the game there will be more situations that you will be up against several enemies then when you need to target 1 down. I believe that once you put grasp and mass confusion in a build you are starting to go down a Control-Hit Hard-Repeat playstyle. For this playstyle it seems that the spell rotation for the build with locust in it would look like this against a champion pack.

    -Gasp
    -Locust
    -Fire Bats for 6 seconds
    -Mass Confuse
    -Locust
    -Firebats for 6 seconds

    Rinse and repeat, and you shouldn't be touch except by some range but nothing that's going to kill you.

    HOWEVER I don't feel that locust for Haunt is necessary It can come down to preference. I'm ok with the slow and steady approach, even with the scarier monsters.

    Also just because i used the slot where spirit walk was to replace it with Horrify doesn't mean i was comparing them, cause spirit walk is a better spell in most cases, HOWEVER since i can have the spirit walk spell+ regen and a cd reduction through Spirit vessel passive it frees up the slot that spirit walk was originally taken up. In the Build Horrify isn't an oh **** button, its an reset button. But to Answer your qualms more directly.

    So then your left with 1 enemy instead of the six, sometimes 2 seconds of running isn't enough to get you way either, Horrify gives you more running time. neither spell is a guaranteed escape.

    That's fine but your comparing horrify to spirit walk when I wasn't. You technically do have spirit walk along with horrify. So the real comparison I was making was Spirit Walk Vs Spirit vessel. However in the case of boss fights you will most likely be horrifying adds or not using it at all. But by having Spirit vessel instead of spirit walk and using up the now empty skill slot for horrify you haven't lost anything from the prior build its just your walk works in a different way. The final reason I would chose Spirit Vessel then Spirit walk is that Spirit Vessel is guaranteed upon a death blow to activate for 3 seconds more then the 2 from spirit walk, which is awesome considering there will be times that you couldn't react quick enough to activate spirit walk manually, or the activation of spirit walk lagged and you still died. Those issues are gone with Spirit Vessel.

    I think the real question is if you switch jungle fortitude with spirit vessel and remove spirit walk from the spell slot what spell would you put in? My suggestion was Horrify, but many others could fit nicely, just to name a few:
    -Zombie Wall
    -BigBad Voodoo
    -Fetish Army
    -Locust
  10. z00t

    z00t IncGamers Member

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    Re: WD build - Mana Hungry Bats

    I don't like being dependent on Mass Confusion because it's on a 1-minute cooldown. Sure it's good against champion packs, but I don't want to feel like I 'need' it as much as possible.

    Locust Swarm and Firebats are both really balanced around the fact that you can hit hordes of enemies with them. Thats why they cost as much as they do and don't do that much damage per second. That's why I'm more than a little leery of going in without flexibility that Resentful Spirit offers me.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bOh7gI2koJc

    It's not the best video, but it might show you what I mean. Imagine this is Hell difficulty, not Normal - you're up against a pack of only THREE super-tough champions, and they have the modifiers 'Vortex, Arcane Enchanted, Frozen'. So they can suck you to them, shoot out arcane bolts, and slow you when they hit you.

    We're probably going to die if you stand around and Firebats them, and Locust Swarm is kinda wasted against such enemies (without the Waller modifier, they wont derp themselves behind their own walls). It's much more efficient to be able to use Haunt/Poison Darts for such an encounter.

    But yeah, I mean, the main reason why I took Haunt is to snipe those important guys who may be behind a really tough wall of monsters. Against the melee opponents, we'll have to kite them, but the ranged guys get free shots in the meantime (and trust me, they'll hurt later in the game). Haunt gives us a way to kite the tough melee guys while killing the ranged guys in the back. Think of Unburied - not every meat wall in front of a caster monster is going to take the form of a horde of weak guys, sometimes the meat wall is a handful of really tough guys. And against a horde of weak guys, we already have Firebats :p. The idea of the build IS to be able to cast Firebats for a long time, after all :p.


    Also, I only compared Horrify to Spirit Walk because you replaced Spirit Walk with Horrify in your build :p. Seems like a natural conclusion for me to make that you prefer Horrify over Spirit Walk since you took it but not Spirit Walk :p.

    Sorry I know I have a tendency to type walls of text. >_>
  11. FizzyBubbly

    FizzyBubbly IncGamers Member

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    Re: WD build - Mana Hungry Bats

    Again i didn't replace spirit walk with horrify.... i replaced spirit walk with spirit vessel... and filled the now empty slot with horrify.. I feel like you didn't read what i typed, i also agreed with you on the points of haunt and left it up in the air and moved the conversation to the spirit walk vs spirit vessel scenario and asked the question

    Again no need to protect your choice of Haunt...
  12. z00t

    z00t IncGamers Member

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    Re: WD build - Mana Hungry Bats

    Whoops - I must have misread what you said :p.

    I dunno about how good Spirit Vessel is as a replacement for Spirit Walk, though. I see it as an extra safety net, but not a replacement for a dedicated skill to get you out of trouble. 90 Seconds will feel really long in the later difficulties, I've got a feeling that getting to Spirit Walk every 15 seconds is better than even the 'guaranteed' 3-second Spirit Walk every 90 seconds, because I suspect there'll be situations where even after Spirit Vessel triggers, and we get our walk, we'll still be in trouble.

    Otherwise, where would the danger in the game be if all you had to do as the WD was wait 90 seconds and be ok?

    My recommendation - take Spirit Walk AND Spirit Vessel - it'd make your panic button more reliable (-2 second CD) and give you that additional safety net. Personally, I think that Spirit Walk runed with Healing Journey is pretty good because then it gives Spirit Walk a use out of combat as well, unlike Horrify :p.

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