Advice on a good summoner build

  • #1
    Hello all,

    After 1.0.4 landed, I've decided to go back to my WD after playing a monk in the interim. However, I am trying to fine-tune my spec, and am having some issues. My current WD setup is below.

    http://us.battle.net/d3/en/profile/Jhonka-1267/hero/1610338

    Given my large amount of health, I like how Blood Ritual works. I'm thinking of incorporating it into my summoner build, but I don't know if Fierce Loyalty works with that (since it's labeled as coming from "items"). I also am not a huge fan of how Spirit Barrage works; it feels too slow and unreliable to be used as a mana dump. I tried Lob Blob Bomb, but I also can't get into that one either.

    I'm trying to stay at range, so I don't really like how Mass Confusion works, but Soul Harvest also requires close range; maybe horrify with the armor buff?

    Basically, I'm looking to have a constant AoE primary with a good mana dump single-target (when coming across packs), while still maintaining the summoner aspect of the class I really enjoy.

    Also toying with this build, but I'm not sure how my damage would be without PtV: http://us.battle.net/d3/en/calculator/witch-doctor#WfUXYT!gac!bYaYYZ

    Thoughts on followers for solo play? Been running with Templar, but now I'm trying to use either the scoundrel or enchantress (trying to get them both to 60 first).

    Thanks!
  • #2
    Blood Ritual works for summons with Fierce Loyalty and I am quite sure that Templar's life regeneration skill works for summons with it as well. Some have even reported that Spirit Walk - Healing Journey works for summons with Fierce Loyalty.

    Horrify with Armor buff-rune would be a good choice, because it also benefits your summons. The cooldown is not that long and you can have it up 50% of the time.

    As for "mana dump"-skills that are single-target... I would recommend using Zombie Charger - Explosive Beast. You can use the skill from range and it goes in a straight-line and does a 9-yard AoE-explosion for 236% damage. Your other choice would be Firebats - Dire Bats for 220% damage, but they are quite "wiggly" when they fly (but they also go through targets, so that's a bonus).
  • #3
    Thanks for the comments! I've read some players suggesting that Spirit Walk is no longer necessary, thanks to the patch. Any thoughts on replacing that with a fire-and-forget spell? Manitou, spider queen, pyrogeist? Not sure on the range of Manitou anymore after the patch; it used to be pretty short.

    Any suggestions on ZD / Garg runes?

    As for passives, I'm trying to find an optimum combination between Jungle Fortitude, Zombie Handler, Blood Ritual, Pierce the Veil, and Fierce Loyalty. I find that my character can get dead pretty fast when he's hit, so I'm considering jungle fort, but then that limits my further options. I may have to gear for more armor and resist all in the future, but I'm trying to find something to progress through act 2 with.

    Modified build I'm thinking of trying out tonight from your comments: http://us.battle.net/d3/en/calculator/witch-doctor#WcgXYT!agc!bacYYc
  • #4
    Unless you have insanely high damage I don't think Manitou is worth the slot on your bar. It's some nice coincidental damage, but there are so many powerful moves to choose from. Even Hex / Jinx is an incredible damage / survivability tool.

    Whether or not spirit walk is "required", it remains an incredibly strong ability. You probably either need 100K damage unbuffed, or 900 AR before you start thinking about playing without it in my opinion.

    I've also always preferred Spirit Vessel to Jungle Fort. I find the times I die I'm getting burst down very quickly or I'm trapped in waller / jailer, and Jungle Fort isn't enough to save me anyway, while Spirit Vessel not only allows escape, but a little free damage while invisible. The more you play with this skill the more comfortable you will be using it like a cooldown. I almost always know when I'm going to pop it in a fight.
  • #5
    http://eu.battle.net...555/hero/321226

    this is my summoners build and it works really well, some things to note tho i have about 6,6k thorns for leaching beasts so heal me some. 10% of the thorns per hit the dogs take have not done any research exactly how the heal is distubuted between teh pets and me, but ut keeps em alive trought everything but some nasty plauge and some nasty electrified.

    Humongoid rune for gargantuan is just sick. it does a crap load of damage and the hit area is huge.

    as for spirit walk i cant live without it.

    rest of the skills is up to preference but i like how locus swarm works and the damage on grasp of the dead is just insane right now.

    i tried to run with leaping spiders cos they feel better then rain of toads but they have teh huge problem of not going over walls and the LoH procs is pretty low compared to RoT, also RoT has the great advantage of going over walls and other terrain.

    its also not to hard to kite with the build if needed, just keep locus swarm up and put down grasp.

    Passives PtV, this is not a mana expensive build so it works very well, fierce loyality is for the leaching beast thorns procs. and jungle fortitude can be changed to whatever if you wanna play more glass cannon or something.

    hope this helps.

    PS: as for horrify frightening spirits it buffs yourself and pets, healing journey heals pets when you have fierce loyalty and so does the templar but he must be in range and be alive for it to happen, enchantress is a much better choise cos of the 15% armor buff (witch stays even when she is dead) and with the rigth gear she can dish out tons of damage.
  • #6
    Thanks all for the suggestions. I'll play around with builds tonight! I'm looking forward to dusting off my WD some more :-D
  • #7
    This is the build I'm using now (farming act 1, w8ing for a 2hander to drop so I can progress and go kill Diablo):
    http://eu.battle.net/d3/en/profile/Elvis-1501/hero/6320180

    Works really well.

    Spiders and Pestilence to kill all the white mobs, basically walk around with full mana until a pick pops up. Dot up, get into a good position for the bear and nuke your mana dry. This usually kill most packs in Act 1, but you will have to regen a bit for the extra health ones or just finish them off with Spiders.

    I imagine that I will need to switch around my passives to make my pets survive better in the later acts (atm I have done 3 farming runs in Act 1, a TOTAL of 2 dogs have died...).

    Might also wanna remove the summon ZD skill and actually just get them through mass confusion of BBV. I will see how they survive in Act 2, maybe with life regen passive (since I have 1200... which atm is not being used).

    But I'm guessing an "end-game" spec might look like this:
    http://eu.battle.net/d3/en/calculator/witch-doctor#bhfUYT!age!cacacc

    Summoner spec is a lot more about the gear then the skills (provided you actually have pets in it). Lot and LOTS of mitigation = Unkillable pets, what you then chose to kill mobs with is pretty much up to you. Or be a tank for a group and just go defensive stats, adds some horror, confusion and spam confusion frogs = Unkillable party, cause they have a kick arse tank.

    P.S. I was really hoping that there would be a better (or at least close to equally good) mana spender then bears with this patch... but there simply isn't... disappointing.
    Winter is coming...
  • #8
    well all, after much experimentation (and losing plenty of NV stacks), I think I've settled on this. http://eu.battle.net/d3/en/calculator/witch-doctor#WfUhYT!acW!bYccca

    It seems to work pretty darn well; my only complaint is that I have to get close to cast pestilence. I care less about my pet's life regen, since I can usually just summon another one when the first one dies. I may switch out PtV for Zombie Handler eventually, but I think I really like the damage boost from PtV.
  • #9
    And I just missed out on a treasure imp because RoT is terrible at hitting that kind of fast-moving target. >_
  • #10
    Ive been trying this out on a mid level WD with extremely hilarious results:

    http://us.battle.net...YUVT!dWZ!abbaZZ

    Note that the primary ability and it's rune, spirit walk and it's rune, Pierce the Veil, and possibly even Gargantuan are changeable into whatever you happen to want. Zombie Bears would even be a possible replacement for your primary if you change Jaunt to Honored Guest.

    The basis for this is that you just continually sacrifice your zombie dogs for stupid amounts of damage (at absolutely NO mana cost, might I add), and the resulting deaths of normal mobs will, more often than not, refuel your ZDs back to the max of 4, only for you to sacrifice them again and again for FREE at 275%(+ 20% with PTV). With 4 dogs that's 1100% weapon damage per sacrifice. If you play your CDs right you can have them up 100% of the time, and have them tank elites for you should summon be on CD while you deal damage with your primary, only to sacrifice them for stupid damage when they get low/summon is off CD, repeat repeat.

    I have NO idea how this would work in Inferno since my WD isn't capped yet, but I'm having a blast with it in Nightmare.

    Edit: The rune on summon ZDs is variable as well. I'll probably end up changing it tomorrow myself, heh.
  • #11
    Quote from Jhonka

    And I just missed out on a treasure imp because RoT is terrible at hitting that kind of fast-moving target. >_


    leaping spiders are golden for goblins tho unless it runs into another pack :P i just wish there was some other primary that can shoot over walls the closest thing is probably ghost bomb.
  • #12
    Quote from Vomica

    Quote from Jhonka

    And I just missed out on a treasure imp because RoT is terrible at hitting that kind of fast-moving target. >_


    leaping spiders are golden for goblins tho unless it runs into another pack :P i just wish there was some other primary that can shoot over walls the closest thing is probably ghost bomb.


    Or my trick:
    As soon as you see it (cause pets are probably on their way to aggro it) pop SW and run up past it, start spaming bears. They don't "notice" you until you SW has ended, even if pets start attacking it and are surrounding it.

    It's a very easy way to get goblins... just pray your SW is off CD when you notice one ^^
    Winter is coming...
  • #13
    Quote from Nausicaa

    Summoner spec is a lot more about the gear then the skills (provided you actually have pets in it). Lot and LOTS of mitigation = Unkillable pets, what you then chose to kill mobs with is pretty much up to you. Or be a tank for a group and just go defensive stats, adds some horror, confusion and spam confusion frogs = Unkillable party, cause they have a kick arse tank.


    This is my Summoner WD. Zombie dogs are about unkillable with the amount of mitigation and life regen I have. I wanted to quote this because I think more people need to see that doing a pet focused build is more about gear than it is about your skill choices. Honestly, the "core" of my summoner build is Fierce Loyalty, Zombie Dogs and Garg--That's it! Everything else is completely swappable.

    As for my progress, I just downed siege breaker last night with no issues. Heralds of Pestilience champ packs would sometimes kill one dog. Other than that, it was pretty smooth sailing. I've even pulled 3 champion packs at once and the pets did just fine.

    Also to note, Healing Journey does transfer to pets, you can provide a big boost in their survivability if you don't have to use Spirit Walk for defensive purposes.

    Hope this helps and good luck to you =)
  • #14
    Quote from Lohk

    This is my Summoner WD.



    Wouldn't Blood Ritual be better than Fetish Sycophants? You'd get 2k+ life regeneration.
    Or do you use Fetish Sycophants so that you have a "small army of summons"?

    Personally I never had more than 2 fetishes up at the same time, which is why I have discarded that passive.
    Maybe I'm unlucky.

    PS:
    I envy your armor (mine is 4051 with mojo). You have around the same armor as some people have WITH SHIELD :P
  • #15
    <3!

    Ya, i've been running different passives. That build is just what I ended on last night. I was thinking that when I pull... a lot of mobs the pets sometimes can lose a few mobs and I have to run around screaming. Maybe the Fetishs would tie some more up. It worked so-so. I honestly have no idea what to do with that third passive slot.
  • #16
    My build resembles Lohk's in the way that it focuses on life regen. Although I don't have as much as Lohk I'm doing really well. I find Manitou really useful for doing damage as I'm running out of fire or just changing position. I just hit Act II so we'll see how it goes.

    http://us.battle.net/d3/en/profile/HeavenDenies-1161/hero/3415138
  • #17
    Build and gear setup in my sig -- works like a champ through all Inferno Acts. Could be pulled off with lower health -- lowest I've gone was 80k but even that was very survivable so I suspect 60/70k would be plausible. Toads and Locust Swarm (Searing) do the bulk of the damage. There may be better spells on paper for damage but in this spec and especially in Act III -- toads over walls and Locusts spreading through and around doors just make them too hard to pass up.

    If you wanted more survivability could go Jungle Fortitude and change rune on soul harvest up to Siphon. But at higher health, you really don't need either and Pierce the Viel becomes hard to pass up. Vengeful Spirit also makes for one heck of an AoE instant especially if you have a 5-stack going already and are just refreshing it.
  • #18
    @Thread

    Loads of good suggestions, liking the differences in summoner builds :).

    on topic (for newer summoners):

    I rolled over the first 3 acts and i hit level 60 on patch day. Half way through act 4 and still truckin.

    Main thing: get a 1h that has atleast 850 dps and some int on it and a nice offhand.

    Then get gear with 80/80 int and vit (stack more vit if you can, it's cheaper on most gear and more important than int), with 150+ life regen 50+ all res and if you can some +armor / thorns (Don't spend more than 50k on items with the above low-stats).

    Ill put in the core stuff of a cheaply geared summoner build (or atleast what i've been running anyways). Fill in the blanks with what you want:
    http://us.battle.net...r#..YUT!cg!...c

    I feel the healing journey is a big deal, it acts as a great heal for your pets and doubles up as an escape mechanism for you. Blood ritual scales with health and so do your pets as well as your regen thanks to fierce loyalty with cheap-o gear you should be on about 45k-60k hp and about 2.5k hp regen, with your passives, this becomes 3k and your sweet beautiful pets become BEEFY.

    And here is the build I am running: http://us.battle.net...YUTg!cga!cbacYc

    I enjoy this build a lot, The spiders worked out really well because they run pretty quick now so i can throw them in door ways (a3) and not really need to worry about aiming things, manitou really helps this idea, and so do my pets, i do a lot of incidental damage around me which means i can focus more on surviving and pet management. Most fights go with me blowing all my mana on Acid clouds and then running round hitting the manitou button and throwing spiders picking up health globes to help out the troops.

    edit: Locusts also make a very good choice instead of acid cloud, I am still torn between the two, when i get better gear and more paragon levels (5 atm) Ill probably swap out the spirit walk for locusts and have both. (rubs hands with glee).

    yay for summoner, so much fun :D
  • #19
    Considering going for a sacrifice build now... http://us.battle.net/d3/en/calculator/witch-doctor#SgUVPY!ZTd!cZcZZZ is what I'm thinking.

    +range is cheap, and +health globes is also cheap. With range on all items, you can get around 65 total yards for circle of life, cooldown refresh from grave injustice (though may drop that for PtV for extra sacrifice damage), and constant health refresh from the globes that'll just pop up all over the place.

    May switch grave injustice for gruesome feast, on second thought; will still get many of the same benefits while increasing the damage output.
  • #20
    Quote from Voix

    Loads of good suggestions, liking the differences in summoner builds :).



    I know! I'm surprised and happy that we're getting this much turnout for builds. The WD was my first class and is still my favorite. I'm glad that the summoner playstyle is viable now!

    P.S. brb, killing Belial with a summoner build.

    P.P.S. success on first attempt. Perfect example of summoner viability :-D
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