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diablo 3

Diablo 3: Great Night for Gearing

Last night was awesome in terms of getting gear. I decided to switch back to playing a Witch Doctor out of boredom in playing my barbarian and demon hunter a bit much lately. For her I was missing one key piece of gear…was

So I did the usual rifts and the first thing I managed to pick up was my first Wormwood staff. The rolls weren’t great but I knew immediately that it would go to my Jade Harvester Witch Doctor since it’s such an awesome weapon for that build. I continued going through a few rifts, eventually hitting a Blood Thief. The 250+ blood shards would then fuel my ability to find the prestigious belt of transcendence which probably took me around 10k+ shards. The reason for my hunt for this belt is for my Witch Doctor to handle trials through keeping a near 100% uptime on her fetishes.

Essentially, the belt summons a fetish each time you hit an enemy with a spender. So using something like haunt, I can spam my spenders and get a fair number of fetishes up and running. In a trials environment, this is critical since Fetish Sycophant generates a fetish with only a 15% chance per attack. Haunt is a fairly cheap spender at 50 mana (whereas my Witch Doctor has over 1k).  With Grave Injustice and Gruesome Feast, I am in no short supply of mana (although right now I’ve been using Plague of Toads due to how it works with Fetish Sycophant; these skills will be changing shortly) If I can continue to optimize this, I probably can waste through trials.

And of course the belt is quite important for Greater Rifts as being able to keep up 100% fetish uptime is imperative for the Zunimassa’s Haunt set to work. For instance, let’s say you’re killed and need to get your fetishes back up. Against the rift guardian, for instance, it would pretty much be a near hopeless fight at higher difficult levels since you won’t be able to generate your fetishes as quickly just using Fetish Sycophant. With the belt, you can pop them up a lot faster.

Also, with the belt you can practically remove your Fetish Sycophant passive. I believe I ended up trading Fetish Sycophant with Pierce the Veil since it boosts my overall damage up by 20%. Although my haunt cost goes up, my other two passives ensure 100% mana. And with the belt, you can still get up to 15 fetishes following you around. In short, it’s essentially a free passive.

The thing is that effectively my Rhen‘ho Flayer becomes useless to a degree. On other hand, I can start searching for an easier to find ancient weapon as well as replacing Plague of Toads with another skill. The ultimate weapon for this build is a Starmetal Kukri, especially if you combine it with Big Bad Voodoo and Slam Dance. However, this weapon’s rarity is pretty bad. Instead, I think a better and more common weapon is the In-geom which can function like a Starmetal Kukri because of how the cooldown is reduced through killing elites. So if I replace the Rhen‘ho Flayer with something else (or any ancient at this stage), I still need to find a new skill as Plague of Toads loses it’s value.

Right now, I’m looking at things like Mass Confusion, Horrify, Acid Cloud, Zombie Dogs, Grasp of the Dead and Hex. I’m leaning towards a crowd control effect such as Horrify or Mass Confusion (especially if I can find the ancient weapon that reduces the cooldown). That used in conjunction with Piranhas would give me a fair amount of CC that would be very useful overall. This is all experimental of course and I just might end up switching to the Carnevil build since that has ranked quite high in Greater Rifts and that I have the gear already for it.

Switching back to my other Witch Doctor, I will say that the Wormwood staff is awesome! My build still is suboptimal as my elemental damage is a mixture of cold and poison and that I’m trying to gear everything towards pure poison. Even then I’m now doing T6 pretty easily. I ended up going double Unity (I could use a poison Stone of Jordon but I’m focused on survival for now) and no longer face mana issues. The constant casting of Locust Swarm from the staff really has aided in allowing me to focus on an easier rotation with just Haunt, especially since I have the Haunting Girdle (which doubles my Haunts)

Since Wormwood effectively makes Locust Swarm automatic, I can probably replace that skill with something else. Already, I swapped from Zombie Dogs to Horrify. With my current gear, I could possibly switch back to Zombie Dogs or find something else like another CC. I could possible switch back to using [The Tall Man’s Finger] with Zombie Dogs and Life Leech, giving me both damage reduction and boost with the big dog. I guess in the end I’ll have to experiment to see which is the most effective, but it’s pretty exciting having this item in my near complete build.

Lastly, for my newer wizard I managed to roll an ancient Nilfur‘s Boast. Having spare Focus and Restraint rings in my bank, I now can do the full Tal Rasha Meteor build. Let me say that it’s just devastating! It was really impressive seeing a 1 billion critical hit go off. Of course, the only thing I’m really missing from this build is the seasonal Ranslor‘s Folly bracers. However, for non-seasonal purposes, the build I’m using is pretty wicked. It’s going to be great to see how much mileage I can get from it.

Overall, I’m happy that things are coming to fruition and that I’ve been able to meet a lot of goals in this patch. Sure, I haven’t participated in seasons thus far but the non-seasonal stuff is far more compelling since I already did the vast majority of the work. I still need to optimize my demon hunters, work on my Raiment of a Thousand Storms monk and perfect my Rolands build. Once I do those things, I feel I’ll be in great shape and just need to farm for ancients to get that extra edge in.

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