Spirit Bears (An end-game farming build)

  • #1
    Disclaimer:
    This build requires good gear (which I will list) and is meant to be a build that you can strive for and eventually use to farm the end game efficiently. This build is all about speed and making farming runs the quickest possible. Without a few key pieces of gear this build will not be possible but once you acquire that it's the quickest farming build out there for WDs. I've noticed a lot of high-end WDs switching over to this build about the same time as me (I thought I was coming up with something original but apparently I wasn't :P ). It's starting to become a fairly popular build so I wanted to make sure to get the word out to d fans people. I know most people don't have this kind of gear yet but it will give you an idea of what types of gear to strive for to be able to pull this off.

    The Build:

    Splinters - This skill slot is up to you. I chose splinters for a few reasons. 1.) It's quick. Originally I had spirit barrage in my build but it's SO SLOW. I like to use something fast to bust down doors and it was insane how slow spirit barrage is. 2.) It's ranged. Sometimes you need a bit of ranged against a pack. You can't always get close safely so that's when I'll use splinters instead of bears. 3.) It's great to finish things off. A lot of the times, my target will die from the first splinter and then the next few splinters will finish off other targets. I've seen other people use firebomb for this slot but it's nice to have a high single target spell for those cases where close range isn't an option. Also, it helps against mobs that run away which is the biggest weakness of this spec. I can't imagine doing those packs with firebomb since it'll take forever to single target each of the mobs.

    Zombie Bears - At 236% x 3, this is the most damaging spell we have. On top of this, most of Act 3 is indoors so you can stand with your back to a wall and hit the same target with all 3 bears. There isn't a single spell that competes and I can't see an end-game farming build without it unless you hit insane DPS levels where you can 1 shot things with abilities with more range.

    Horrify - It took me awhile to add this to my build. I was about to give up on this build before I tried horrify because I was dying a few times a run and it was slowing me down. The 100% armor makes a huge difference. I keep it up 100% of the time when I'm fighting ranged (or anything that will hit me a lot). It's also good to use if you get in a bad spot. An added bonus of this skill is that it makes my Zdogs very rarely die. I used to run with BBV instead in this slot. It was nice since I could use BBV every other elite pack typically but I prefer the extra armor from horrify. Fields of slaughter can get ugly without it. I'll spirit walk into the middle of 10 mobs (that hit hard) so without the armor, I just die.

    ZDogs - I went with leeching beasts because my dogs were dying too much with life link. When the dogs die, I often follow pretty quickly if it's a tough elite pack (horde of extra health tremors for example).

    Spirit Walk - This is mostly used to travel quickly between packs of monsters. Jaunt was picked for the extra second of travel time. I also use spirit walk against reflects damage packs. If I have a decent gruesome stack going, I'll kill most packs before it ends or they will die shortly after it ends... either way, reflects damage typically isn't a problem.

    Soul Harvest - I picked soul to waste because non of the other options would really be helpful. I like running with a constant 5 stack on. Not only does it give me the added resistances but the extra damage is nice. All the other runes are not needed or redundant with this build.

    Spirit Vessel - The 2 seconds off the cooldown of spirit walk means it takes a smaller pack to kill before your spirit walk is back to travel again. This saves you minutes off your clear time. A lot of times the pack is only 5-6 monsters large so you'll need those extra 2 seconds to instantly get spirit walk back off cooldown.

    Gruesome Feast - Since you're like a vacuum cleaner with thing of the deep, gruesome is really awesome. While clearing trash, you'll always have a few stacks going and you'll have insane amounts of int. I believe I've seen 4000 int at times on my character. Things just melt. This is also your main source of mana. If you have high mana (I have close to 1000) you'll get a ton of mana pack per globe.

    Grave Injustice - The main point of this is to get spirit walk back off cooldown. As an added bonus, you also get heals and mana.

    The Gear:

    Required Gear:

    * Thing of the Deep: This guy isn't too expensive unless you insist on a top tier one. You can get one for a few Mil that will suit you. The most important thing is the 20 pickup radius. This makes Gruesome and Grave Injustice work. An alternative would be to get 3-4 pieces of pickup radius gear. I would highly suggest Thing of the Deep instead though.
    * All resist and vit gear. This is an aggressive build. You will start to die once your defensive stats can't keep up. I have 330 all resist before resist from int and it works pretty well. Also, I would suggest trying to stay around at least 30k hp. I start proccing spirit vessel more than I'd like when I drop below that mark.
    * High int gear. The higher the better. The more int you have, the more it gets boosted from gruesome feast. I don't think you should completely ignore crit and crit dmg but they are mostly only useful on elite packs. Once you get your int high enough, you'll 1 shot almost all white mobs.

    Not required but helpful:

    * Max Mana: Max mana gear is great since you'll be getting a lot of mana pack from gruesome feast.

    * Lifesteal or health on kill is great. With this build you'll be in the middle of the action so both of these are great to keep your health topped off.

    * +Armor: You'll get hit a lot so + armor will be nice to have. Thanks to horrify (and being able to have it up almost all the time) armor is a lot better than most builds.

    * Zuni 4 piece: This is not required but it will speed up your run a ton. This is something to eventually strive for but you can do this build before you get a set. Between the mana regen and mana on kill, my mana typically stays topped off during trash clearing. I can spam bears as long as I like.

    * Lacuni Prowlers: This is another piece that is not required but it will improve the speed on your runs so much thanks to the run speed increase.

    Weaknesses:


    * The one big weakness of this build is the range of zbears. Because of this, those fat wizard guys in Act 3 are the hardest packs. A lot of times it will be hard to hit them with bears. If you can, corner one and completely blow him up. I'll rely on splinters more for these mobs and they'll take a bit longer to kill.
    * Extra Health: Sometimes I'll run out of mana on extra health mobs since it takes longer to get them to 50% where they may drop globes. It will help more when I lose my MF weapon and get something with mana regen/max mana.

    The Results:

    This build is SICK with the right gear. Places like the keeps and crater go insanely fast.... sprint Barb fast. It's great. When your bears kill whites in 1-2 casts, you can spirit walk into a pack, kill them all and then spirit walk to the next pack. It cut my clear time in half. It only takes around an hour now to do a complete Act 3 clear (last 2 bosses + every area excluding the 2 areas outside the town). I haven't found a faster build and the deaths are very low with horrify, dogs, and spirit vessel all protecting you.

    //edit: thanks gnarf
  • #2
    edit thread, press "use full editor" bellow the text box and then edit the tittle :D
  • #3
    How you survival reflect damage? You have no leech.

    I tried that with a 80k dps, no leech gears and reflect dmg killed me. Now I replaced the Skorn with a cheap 2 handed staff with 1k LOH and able to cruise through act 3 w/o any problem.

    http://us.battle.net/d3/en/profile/chris-13261/hero/26046265
  • #4
    Quote from cw30000

    How you survival reflect damage? You have no leech.

    I tried that with a 80k dps, no leech gears and reflect dmg killed me. Now I replaced the Skorn with a cheap 2 handed staff with 1k LOH and able to cruise through act 3 w/o any problem.

    http://us.battle.net...1/hero/26046265


    Most packs die before spirit walk ends. Also, once the mobs hit 50% & trash around it dies, globes drop and get sucked right up instantly due to the high pickup range. Finally, after spirit walk ends I can pop horrify for 100% armor. Reflects damage is not an issue at all... even without a lifesteal weapon. That said, I have a lifesteal weapon and I'd like to use it but I don't want to give up 44% magic find. I would suggest a lifesteal weapon but mostly for trash... reflects damage is easy even with 0 lifesteal.
  • #5
    So is there a reason why you run zombie dogs instead of gargantuan?
  • #7
    This is my end-game farming build: http://us.battle.net...dYUZ!Wdh!cYYZab

    Number 4 is a "mobile slot" for me, I use these skills on it:
    - Grasp of the Dead - Death is Life
    - Horrify - Stalker
    - Big Bad Voodoo - Slam Dance
    - Horrify - Frightening aspect

    I also have another version of it: http://us.battle.net...dYUX!WTh!bYYZaY
    In this one, I keep 100% armor buff 24/7 on. This build is more suitable for solo-play and the one above suits well for group-play.
    Gargantuan is my defensive skill (knock enemies back) and I can keep it up 24/7 if there are mobs around :)
    I sometimes change Pierce the Veil or Zombie Handler to Gruesome Feast as well (in both builds).

    Here is my witch doctor: http://eu.battle.net...43/hero/2911558
  • #8
    Good writeup, couple of points:

    Whenever I try to speed things up by killing trash with a pack or two of bears, my issue is always mana. I'll end up finding an elite pack when I only have half mana and it'll take me far longer than it would with a full mana bubble. As a result I kill most trash with a grasp (+damage rune) and pets, helping out with darts. For the serious paragon farmer, I would say mana regen is a necessity unless you have 4pc Zum.

    Your build and, going by what you wrote, your playstyle as well, hinge around survival abilities and tactics which are unnecessary with higher innate survivability. You use horrify and spirit vessel, and talk about hanging back and using darts - all things which are lowering your damage potential and thus slowing you down. Ironically, higher health and resists will actually speed up a witch doctor who uses bears a lot just by not having to screw around trying not to die.

    Last thing, a serious farmer wants max dps everywhere, and if you give up damage in a slot it should be for an excellent reason. I can see wearing leorics, lacuni, etc. - but I can't see giving up the huge damage potential in an offhand for 20 yards pickup radius. IMO it's much better to get it on a few pieces of gear, where it rarely commands a high premium over similar gear without it. When I recently upgraded my offhand I made a damage gain of about 10% - huge for one upgrade. On top of that, my old offhand wasn't bad by a long shot, about 200 int and xx-270 damage.
  • #9
    Agreed with mana regeneration is a must.

    I am still upset how WD only get 45 mana for a sec for a total pool of 740, which mean it takes 17 seconds for a complete recharge. While Wizard only take 10 seconds.
  • #10
    Quote from Bilge
    Last thing, a serious farmer wants max dps everywhere, and if you give up damage in a slot it should be for an excellent reason. I can see wearing leorics, lacuni, etc. - but I can't see giving up the huge damage potential in an offhand for 20 yards pickup radius.


    In this build, 20 yard pickup radius is a huge damage boost due to the interaction with Gruesome Feast. In general this build requires min 20 yard radius just for Gruesome Feast/Grave Injustice to work at good potential. When I ran it, I went as high as 28 yds (4 pieces of gear that had 7 yds each). That said, I don't like the build because of the short range of bears and thus the lack of choice in positioning. It just didn't end up being as survivable -- any time gained in quicker individual pack kills seemed to be lost in additional unnecessary corpse runs.

    With my build, I've got enough movement speed through gear (24%), I rarely die, and the pack kills are still remarkably quick. Sure higher uptime on Spirit Walk for faster movement would be very nice but it's not worth the loss in survivability to me.
  • #11
    I think I might have to roll a WD once I'm done with my barb
  • #12
    I use quite similar build, but i use Zombie dogs with sacrifice with 15% damage rune. Sacrifice cost 0 mana and does huge AoE damage and also i get 15% damage for 30 seconds.

    Also i use Vision quest with spiders for 30% more mana regen, wonder maybe gruesome feast gives enough mana compared to VQ.
    You should never underestimate the predictability of stupidity.
  • #13
    Quote from Emberos

    Quote from Bilge
    Last thing, a serious farmer wants max dps everywhere, and if you give up damage in a slot it should be for an excellent reason. I can see wearing leorics, lacuni, etc. - but I can't see giving up the huge damage potential in an offhand for 20 yards pickup radius.


    In this build, 20 yard pickup radius is a huge damage boost due to the interaction with Gruesome Feast. In general this build requires min 20 yard radius just for Gruesome Feast/Grave Injustice to work at good potential. When I ran it, I went as high as 28 yds (4 pieces of gear that had 7 yds each). That said, I don't like the build because of the short range of bears and thus the lack of choice in positioning. It just didn't end up being as survivable -- any time gained in quicker individual pack kills seemed to be lost in additional unnecessary corpse runs.

    With my build, I've got enough movement speed through gear (24%), I rarely die, and the pack kills are still remarkably quick. Sure higher uptime on Spirit Walk for faster movement would be very nice but it's not worth the loss in survivability to me.


    That's the point I was making in another part of my post - if you have more health and resists you can use bears without fear. Some leech or loh helps out too. Until you have good survivability it can be difficult to realize the luxuries it affords you. Sorta like how cadillacs are ugly until you drive one, then you realize that if you get to be that comfortable in your car all the time you don't care what anyone thinks :P

    If I were to switch to a TotD right now I'd probably lose ~15k damage (65k -> 50k or less). I just can't justify it. I have 18y range now from 3 items and I just got them because they had nice stats at a good price anyway, the pickup range was incidental. I'm not using any abilities which require it - if so It would not be hard to get even more range from rares without sacrificing damage if range were more than just a convenience for me.
  • #14
    Beyond "This is my build, this is how it works," I think Ruppgu is saying "Eventually all late game WD farming builds will look very close to this" which I agree.

    Gruesome Feast / Grave Injustice: This combo is just sick if your damage can support it (basically one shotting everything). Grave Injustice enabling so much spirit walking is just too valuable to pass up. With enough kill speed / pickup range Gruesome Feast outpaces Pierce the Veil pretty easily.

    I think eventually as damage scales what you will see is people migrating away from bears and towards Acid Rain as the damage is more instant and a 24 yard range is just insane.

    Like I said, the things I'm saying pertain to WD at complete top levels of gear. I saw a WD streamer the other day with near best in slot gear and he had 288K character damage without pierce the veil. At that point I couldn't imagine anything surviving your acid cloud, except maybe a few elites, but even then splinters is probably 3 shotting.

    I'm confused by people saying you had mana problems with this build. Were you not killing things fast enough or were you killing things out of Grave Injustice range? With big groups around I couldn't drop below half mana if I tried.
  • #15
    The problem with Gruesome Feast is that the health-globes do not refresh the counter. They just start a new one.
    For example if you have picked up 5 health-globes (maximum), you can't pick up one more to keep the stack at "5" for another 10 seconds. Instead, you have to find 5 health-globes within 10 seconds, every 10 seconds.

    I tested this and I had to pick up 3 health globes within 10 seconds, every 10 seconds to get ~300 more DPS than with Pierce the Veil. The problem wasn't my pickup radius (37), it's just that the health-globes didn't drop often enough :)
  • #16
    They drop often enough if you're absolutely melting. If you're pushing 100K+ damage you won't be in one place very long.

    Also you can't compare straight numbers with GF vs. PtV since pierce has a large damage drawback by increasing mana costs while GF is gaining you tons of mana with every pickup.
  • #17
    I'll try to cover everything here....

    I use dogs instead of garg because they offer more distractions so I'm not getting 100% of the mob focus. The damage from garg would not be noticeable because I kill things so quickly.

    I'm not sure if I properly displayed the playstyle based on a few of the comments. The defensive slots are pretty much needed no matter how much survival stats you have. The defensive skills allow you to play in a style which speeds up play. I spirit walk into a pack of 20 mobs, blow them up it 2-3 bears and then spirit walk to the next pack. Sometimes they'll all smack me enough before they die and that's where I need the huge buff of armor (or spirit vessel). What exactly would you have in there besides fear that would increase the damage that much? Once you reach a point where white mobs die in 1-2 hits damage doesn't matter much at all. It only matters for elite packs which take only a few seconds to kill anyway. You will see a bigger increase in farming speed by being able to play at mach speed. The fact that the defensive skills let you play in such an aggressive manner is way better than having 10-20k more dps or what-not because we're already at the 1 shot breaking point.

    I don't sit back and shoot darts hardly at all. I only mentioned it because there are times where there are 6-7 arcane beams where the mobs are or the area is completely filled with molten fire. These are times where I don't care how good of defensive stats you have, you won't be in there at melee range.

    Good info about mana regen bilge... it really did change things once I got the 4 piece zuni. During trash I'm nearly always at full mana and that is huge. I don't agree that picking Thing of the Deep means you have to give up damage but if you don't want to spend 30-40M, you will likely be giving up damage vs your older mojo (I'm only giving up 2k with my middle of the road TotD). A well rolled thing of the deep is the best mojo out there imo because it has mana regen and max mana. The uhkapian serpant doesn't.
  • #18
    Quote from Kinch

    Beyond "This is my build, this is how it works," I think Ruppgu is saying "Eventually all late game WD farming builds will look very close to this" which I agree.

    Gruesome Feast / Grave Injustice: This combo is just sick if your damage can support it (basically one shotting everything). Grave Injustice enabling so much spirit walking is just too valuable to pass up. With enough kill speed / pickup range Gruesome Feast outpaces Pierce the Veil pretty easily.

    I think eventually as damage scales what you will see is people migrating away from bears and towards Acid Rain as the damage is more instant and a 24 yard range is just insane.

    Like I said, the things I'm saying pertain to WD at complete top levels of gear. I saw a WD streamer the other day with near best in slot gear and he had 288K character damage without pierce the veil. At that point I couldn't imagine anything surviving your acid cloud, except maybe a few elites, but even then splinters is probably 3 shotting.

    I'm confused by people saying you had mana problems with this build. Were you not killing things fast enough or were you killing things out of Grave Injustice range? With big groups around I couldn't drop below half mana if I tried.


    I agree... acid rain is the next step if you reach an amount of damage that insane. I'm only at 50-60k with it spiking to 90-100 with self buffs.
  • #19
    Quote from Derwiv33

    The problem with Gruesome Feast is that the health-globes do not refresh the counter. They just start a new one.
    For example if you have picked up 5 health-globes (maximum), you can't pick up one more to keep the stack at "5" for another 10 seconds. Instead, you have to find 5 health-globes within 10 seconds, every 10 seconds.

    I tested this and I had to pick up 3 health globes within 10 seconds, every 10 seconds to get ~300 more DPS than with Pierce the Veil. The problem wasn't my pickup radius (37), it's just that the health-globes didn't drop often enough :)


    Yes, but Gruesome Feast scales far better than PtV does. Go into the WD spreadsheet and drop PtV and then put a 1.5x modifier on your character sheet int value. Your damage jumps significantly at almost every gear level. I mean it's a 6.8k damage increase at my gear level, and my gear isn't exactly something to write home about. Yes, you don't have a 5-stack up permenantly, but it also gives you mana instead of making things cost more mana, which allows you to rock the high-damage stuff even more.

    I've been rocking Flash Fire + Lob Blob Bomb and having some very good success with it. I can only imagine how amazing it is going to work with better gear. Flash Fire is disturbingly underrated, especially on 3+ targets. As my gear Improves I plan to migrate to Gruesome Feast & Grave Injustice myself. Granted Acid Rain generally requires more pickup radius than bears, but that extra range is a good thing too, and if you can pick up a nicely-rolled Thing of the Deep you can easily attain some ridiculous pickup radius with just one or two other items.

    EDIT
    A small comparison of damage differentials between PtV and Gruesome Feast with variable levels of GF stacks, using my current gear with 5 stacks of Soul Harvest (negatives mean GF is a damage loss):

    0GF: -6147 damage
    1GF: -3324 damage
    2GF: -232 damage
    3GF: 2859 damage
    4GF: 5951 damage
    5GF: 9043 damage

    The more int you have the more the damage shifts in GFs favor, period. Not even touching the mana gain as opposed to the mana defecit between the two.
    67.1k elite kills :: 1.98m total kills :: p255
    Planet Express <PlanEx>
    (V) (°,,°) (V)
  • #20
    I didn't say otherwise :)

    In my opinion picking up 3 health globes within 10 seconds, every 10 seconds is not worth it. I will reconsider the skill when I have enough intelligence so I'd only have to pick up 2 health globes.
    Or I will try to find a way to add both to my build. For example I could use it instead of Zombie Handler, but I'm not sure since that one dog gives me +25% extra damage.

    High mana regeneration requirement is the downside of Pierce the Veil while Gruesome Feast's downside is high pickup radius. Everyone can pick their own poison :P


    PS: You guys should consider adding "Grasp of the Undead - Death is Life" to your Gruesome Feast-builds.
    Lots of Health-globes for everyone (100% uptime, not to mention Grave Injustice). :)
  • #21
    I hate zombie bears. The build is powerfull but you need alot of EHP to stand that dmg in act 3
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