Witch Doctor Builds (In Nightmare)

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#1 Posted by Shaddoknight (3 posts) -

Hi everyone, was wondering if I could get some help in figuring out a Nightmare build.

I played thru Normal mode without breaking a sweat, using:

Poison Dart, Zombie Dogs, Sacrifice, Acid cloud, gargantuan.

Im still in act one in Nightmare (just past Spider boss),

Was wondering if there was a better build for Nightmare, I find the build im using currently has very little survivability, and my dogs die off way to quickly.

All the other builds I've seemed to see online are from pre-release.

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#2 Posted by Xeirus (1636 posts) -

I looked online for a monk guide and couldn't find jack either :/

Best bet is to look on the official Diablo boards and ask the "hardcore" players. Hope you're able to find something.

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#3 Posted by Karolis (303 posts) -

I just finished Nightmare Act I. I use pets to tank while I Soul Harvest, cast Locust Swarm, and then Firebomb with bounce. Pets feel moderately squishy, but the dogs perish in poison clouds instantly. All my gear is +int/vit, and I think the pets benefit from those the most. Skillset: http://us.battle.net/d3/en/calculator/witch-doctor#hSYdUT!ZdV!ZabZZZ

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#4 Posted by Humanity (16498 posts) -

@Xeirus said:

I looked online for a monk guide and couldn't find jack either :/

Best bet is to look on the official Diablo boards and ask the "hardcore" players. Hope you're able to find something.

I'm just finishing Chapter 2 on Nightmare and I'm a level 44 Monk.

This is how I play and I'm doing fine: http://us.battle.net/d3/en/calculator/monk#aUXigQ!ZYX!abaZaa

It's important to note I have almost all my gear buffing DEX and VIT so I'm at about 10k HP or so and my DPS is 1300 with two Fisted Weapons.

The first healing spell is good for emergency healing and also causing damage to enemies - the second one is a last ditch effort that not only gives you those 2 seconds of invulnerability but heals you as well.

Blade storm goes up to 60% weapons damage in AoE around you and is great for crowd control.

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#5 Posted by Seraphim (114 posts) -

When you get Vision Quest, there are a lot of builds that involve using long cooldown spells like fetish army, and just making sure you always have 4 spells on cd. Then you can spam dire bats forever. It's a squishy way to play and not sustainable in Inferno, but seems to do the job well if you can kite efficiently.

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#6 Posted by Mnemoidian (1016 posts) -

@Xeirus: I'm playing a 60 monk, working my way through Inferno.

For Nightmare, I can really only suggest that you keep playing around with your skills and trying out different abilities. If you are struggling, you should focus on more defensive abilities... though I think that a more offensive build is significantly more efficient at the level you are at.

Really, the best thing you can do is just swapping around abilities and finding what you like (but still keep swapping things out every now and then).

At 60 I'm currently running a very defensive build: http://us.battle.net/d3/en/calculator/monk#WiXgYh!YXZ!ZZZaaa though with the problems I'm currently having, I'm not sure if I can recommend it (probably just need to get better gear)... and besides, you sholuldn't need to be that defensive at your level.

Anyway, there are some other fan sites (Diablo Fans, part of the curse network, I think?) where I found some pretty good forum posts about advice for Inferno builds.

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#7 Posted by Xeirus (1636 posts) -

@Humanity: What's your reasoning for two primary attacks?

@Mnemoidian: It's not really that I'm struggling, I seem to do fine, I was more wanting to compare myself to others and see if I could be doing better.

I see both of your use serenity, why is that? I felt like it was very underpowered and 3 seconds hardly seems worth it with a 20 sec cooldown.

This is currently my build: http://us.battle.net/d3/en/calculator/monk#acXijS!YXd!a.ZZaa, I think I'm going to switch to mantra of evasion since I've been hearing dodge is -the- way to go for monks.

I use tempest rush on my right mouse as it lets me get around the battlefield very quickly (dodging lasers, freeze bombs, and also get to health globes) and also lets me bully mobs and push them around.

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#8 Posted by Ravenlight (8057 posts) -

@Shaddoknight: What level is your WD? You might just be underlevelled or undergeared. Area-appropriate gear can make a huge difference. Don't be afraid to browse the auction house; it's not actually cheating :)

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#9 Posted by Mnemoidian (1016 posts) -

@Xeirus: I agreed through most of the game, but when I got to Inferno, I needed another heal (cooldowns felt too long) and being invulnerable for a couple of seconds gives you a great opportunity to stop worrying about dying for a few seconds and just try to get in as much damage as possible in those precious 3 seconds.

Also, at 10 spirit, Serenity is practically free to use, making it an excellent "oh shit" button to hit when your health starts plummeting.

re:Mantras... I swore by Mantra of Healing from normal through hell, used it on Diablo-Hell, even. I moved over because it feels like evasion will be the way to go in the long-run.

But, like I said, I'm just setting foot into Inferno, I'm hardly an authority on monks. (and your needs for Nightmare and Hell is very different from what you need to do in Inferno).

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#10 Posted by Renahzor (1043 posts) -


Depending on your level, nightmare is actually a cake walk with certain builds.

I dropped zombie dogs around that level, and started playing a bit with plague of toads.


Use spirit walk early for the damage and def bonuses, spam acid cloud until low, spirit walk for mana, toads when necessary to maintain mana levels. You can swap soul harvest mana rune with health if you need it. Acid cloud has a HUGE aoe range with acid rain rune, this should wipe out most packs easily. Toads hit for a ton of damage at these levels, and if you can tank just a bit they're very high dps on small groups. You can sub grasp of the dead with hex/hedge magic rune for some healing and CC if you like, its all preference for that specific slot. Take a templar with all healing skills and roll out!

That build got me to mid hell, where I had to go vision quest build + Dire bats to maintain the dps until my gear got better. Inferno I use 3 different builds, all of which are marginally effective in inferno act 2 due to being undergeared: Dire bats + vision quest(standard VQ fueled bats w/spirit walk, harvest, hex, gargantuan), Splinter Dart spam build with more CC(need a faster weapon to make this work right, uses spirit walk, wall of zombies, horrify(or hex), soul harvest, and grasp to kite and spam darts), and an experimental build with corpse spiders which I haven't locked in all the way yet.

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#11 Posted by StarvingGamer (11399 posts) -

@Xeirus: For the sake of comparison, here's what I'm using right now at level 30: http://us.battle.net/d3/en/calculator/monk#aWXgjh!ZX!ZZZaaa

For my build, at least, the two primary attacks are used in conjunction to provide me with permanent defensive buffs of 15% dodge, 20% enemy attack speed reduction, and 20% enemy damage reduction. The slot for Serenety is because it's important to have a "get out of jail free" card available, especially for higher difficulties. 3 seconds may not seem like much, but it can mean the difference between a successful boss kill or a total wipe.

@Shaddoknight: What passives are you using? If you're focusing on pets then Jungle Fortitude (20% reduced damage) and Zombie Handler (1 extra dog and +20% HP) will go a long way. Also remember that your pets benefit directly from your armor and resistances including armor and resistance gained from Str and Int. They do not benefit from your Vit or Dex.

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#12 Edited by Humanity (16498 posts) -

@Xeirus: Those two primaries allow me to handle single enemies and groups well. I really love the Fists of Thunder rune stone that adds the teleport to an enemy as it allows you to move around the battlefield fluidly. Sometimes you can get overwhelmed by a lot of mobs, especially if they are illusion types and this will let you "teleport" out by attacking outside the group. Fists of Thunder is also a pretty high damage dealing attack I use for singular enemies but can be used against smaller groups too. Hundred Fists with that specific runestone deals damage over time which is good in my opinion and has a knockback effect on the last hit which helps from getting too overwhelmed or boxed in when playing solo - I sometimes switch it out for crippling wave which is great for groups and slows attack.

I also don't find a lot of the other skills the monk has to be all that usefull. The bell AoE costs a LOT of spirit if you want to use the most damaging version. The regular AoE kick attack is weak. Blinding Flash is decent but sometimes it just delays the inevitable since it won't heal you when you're in a pinch. All you really need is Serenity as a get out of jail free card, because it can heal you and breaks status effects. One mantra, I choose healing because at one point your enemies have so much health that pure attack is no longer an option and you need to just outlast your enemies and the Sweeping Wind ability with blade storm for finishing off enemies that you aren't even fighting - in Nightmare you can still get away with dual wielding fists while later you will have to switch to a shield, which completely defeats the point of the class but this is how Blizzard has always screwed physical classes in Diablo games.

I don't think you should be using the ally skill because they do little damage and don't draw away nearly enough aggro to be worth it. Tempest rush is useless in my opinion although if you've had success using it then keep rocking that.

I haven't even played hell yet, but the way things have been going so far I see that you move away from being a fast DPS character to playing more like a tank in the endgame and that means using all the skills you can to buff yourself while dealing out as much damage as you can over time.

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#13 Edited by Xeirus (1636 posts) -

@StarvingGamer: That's interesting, guess I don't really need two main attacks in NM yet as I haven't run into anything that's impossible to beat yet. But it's a good idea.

I'll give it a try, thanks.

@Humanity: Yeah, I haven't used the bell at all, it's just not worth the cost. I keep switching my #1 slot trying to find something, as I can't seem to find anything I'm happy with there.

That -really- sucks that you felt the need to switch to a shield, but I guess I sort of knew this class would end up being a paladin equivalent :/

I mainly use tempest rush to get around the battlefield a lot more reliably than fists of thunder allows. FOT has a small cooldown on the teleport and if there's not anything outside to snap to it makes it pretty hard to get out of bad situations. But that problem might be solved if I start using serenity. I'll check it out, thanks for the tips both of you.

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#14 Posted by simian (933 posts) -

I just finished Ch 1 with the following build:


For what it's worth this build has been mostly working for me but I'm getting the feeling that I'm going to have to revise it. Dropping 'Big Bad Voodoo' has let me take on a group of elites & named at the same time and spamming dire bats like mad.

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#15 Posted by Leekspin (36 posts) -

@Shaddoknight: I'm currently in Act 2 Inferno mode. Zombie dogs and sacrifice are worthless after normal mode. This is the build I would use in Nightmare and Hell


Once you get Vision Quest at 40 you'll want to use this


Pretty much the same, just make sure your gargantuan is always on cooldown and pop your other skills when you run into packs and spam direbats. Make sure you get a high dps weapon and use a mojo for an offhand, do not use a 2hand weapon. Also try and get gear with attack speed, it will up your poison dart dps by alot.

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#16 Posted by BBAlpert (2587 posts) -

I always thought that I was just missing something when nothing I tried for mouse 1 and 2 skills seemed as effective (for most situations) as splinter darts and dire bats. Maybe that's simply how it is.

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#17 Posted by BBAlpert (2587 posts) -

One thing I've found to be surprisingly effective (in places like early Act 3), is Locust Swarm with Pestilence. I'm only in Act 1 Nightmare myself, so I can't really say whether its effectiveness holds up later on, though.

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#18 Edited by MezZa (2785 posts) -

I used this build:


Until I hit 40 and got vision quest, then I switched a couple around to this


This build is fairly straight forward. It follows the same idea as all of the other vision quest builds where you want to keep 4 things on cooldown and use the increased mana regen to pump out a high damage spell, but I added in the fetishes because they actually make for the best pet tanks. They can take a hit or two even in the later difficulties, and they move around a lot so they don't just take a beating like gargantuan does. Once you get closer to inferno I suggest switching out soul harvest for hex with the rune that occasionally heals allies. The only reason I have it here is because the large amount of healing it gives is still useful in nightmare, but in inferno you're going to be doing less healing and more avoiding getting hit at all. And if you play in a group you'll probably want to switch fetish army out for big bad voodoo runed with rain dance or slam dance.

Keep in mind that your gear makes a big difference too. You may need more health if your survivability sucks.

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#19 Posted by s10129107 (1458 posts) -

Experiment. It takes 2 seconds to change your build.

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#20 Posted by buft (3409 posts) -

try adding in things like grasp of the dead that can hurt enemies but also slow them letting you control the battlefield, much easier to survive if enemies cant catch you.

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