The stampede is on the way and you're the one commanding the charge! This build utilizes the immense power of the Helltooth Harness to deliver a devastating stream of Zombie Bears to destroy everything in your path. An old school Witch Doctor fan favorite has been enhanced in Season 22 with a new Mojo Ursua's Trodden Effigy, an improvement to the Scrimshaw as well as a giant boost to the 6 piece Helltooth Harness bonus from 9000% to 17,500%! Dive in below and check out some of the build updates and how you can make the most of Zombie Bears this Season.
You'll spend your time running around using Locust Swarm to gather up enemies, while maintaining your Toughness buffs from Soul Harvest and the Helltooth Harness. Captain Crimson's Trimmings and Blood Ritual work together with high Resource Cost Reduction to make your Zombie Bears cost virtually no Mana, allowing you to spam them at will. This build is quite easy to play and showcases a variety of Witch Doctor Skills making it a great choice for anyone new to the Witch Doctor Class.
Despite the buffs this set has received it's still one of the weaker choices for the Witch Doctor, especially compared to the Mundunugu's Regalia Spirit Barrage build.
High Toughness ✔
Never Resource Starved ✔
Great Against Large Packs ✔
❌ Low Damage Overall
❌ Weak on Single Target
❌ Struggles in High GR's
❌ Poor Performance in Groups
- Helltooth Harness (4) Bonus and (6) Bonus are the primary focus of this build as they give 60% Damage Reduction for 10 seconds when you use your Zombie Charger or Wall of Death and a 17,500% Damage buff for 15 seconds after casting Wall of Death.
- Captain Crimson's Trimmings gives a massive Toughness boost since you are focused on Resource Cost Reduction with this build. The Cooldown benefits aren't utilized as much in solo but still provide a great Damage buff.
- Scrimshaw reduces the Mana cost of Zombie Charger by 75% and boosts its Damage by 6-7 times. This Main-Hand also has a Primary Stat option to get another 80% additive Damage buff to the skill.
- Ursua's Trodden Effigy gives Zombie Charger up to a 150% Damage buff as well as spawning more Zombie Bears, launching 8 per cast instead of 3.
- Ring of Emptiness provides a 300% Damage buff as long as the target is affected by Locust Swarm.
- Finally Ring of Royal Grandeur allows you to utilize both Helltooth Harness and Captain Crimson's Trimmings.
Season 25 Soul Shards
Soul Shards are powerful socketable items that only drop during Season 25. There are 4 available for Weapons based on the Lesser Evils, with another 3 for Helmets based on the Prime Evils. They drop at Rank 0 and be upgraded three times with the brand new Hellforge Embers to unlock additional powers, or be used in the Kanai's Cube as Augments. Here's how they progress:
- Rank 0: Soul Shards begin with a unique static Legendary Power. Creates a Rank 50 Augment.
- Rank 1: Gives all powers from the normal gems. Creates a Rank 75 Augment.
- Rank 2: Grants one additional powerful stat. Creates a Rank 100 Augment.
- Rank 3: Unlocks 1 of 3 bonus Legendary Powers unique to that Soul Shard. Creates a Rank 125 Augment.
Warning: Leoric's Crown and Broken Crown do not work with Soul Shards!
Read our Soul Shards Guide for full details on how they work. What you should prioritize on them for Solo Pushing is the following:
- The Correct Soul Shard & Rank 3 Power
The best shards for Solo Pushing are:
- Helmets: We want to use Sliver of Terror for the massive damage buff from our abilities on cooldown. For the Rank 3 power take the Ring of Fire to unleash a devastating AoE blast for big leaderboard pushes!
- Weapons: We want to use Essence of Anguish for the Movement Speed and Cooldown Reduction. For the Rank 3 power take the 50% increased Poison Damage, which actually applies to all damage done. Hint: Make sure to get a Poison Damage Range on your follower's Weapon so it can stack the buff automatically.
- The Rank 2 Stat
The stats that come from the second upgrade are not equal. Here's what we're looking for on them:
- Helmets: We want either Main Stat for damage or Melee/Ranged Damage Reduction to survive. Avoid Armor and All Resistance as their stat ranges are far too low compared to the other options.
- Weapons: We want either % Damage or Poison Damage to boost our character's power the furthest.
- The Stat Ranges on the Rank 1 and 2 Powers
This is just icing on the cake because the ranges will not make or break your build. Still, look for the Soul Shards with the best stat ranges, especially on the offensive stats.
For the other game modes, other Soul Shards can be used. Check the Variants below to see what's used there.
What about extra Soul Shards? Either salvage them for gems, or upgrade and use them in Kanai's Cube for Augments.
Global Stat Priorities
Our offensive priorities are: Critical Hit Chance & Damage > Poison Damage > Zombie Charger Damage > Attack Speed & Area Damage > Resource Cost Reduction > Cooldown Reduction. A mix of Attack Speed and Area Damage is nice as they can both help in different areas of a Rift. Attack Speed will help greatly on the Rift Guardian where you'll struggle the most and having some Area Damage will help throughout the Rift a decent amount as we group enemies together.
When doing T16 or speed Greater Rifts prioritize Cooldown more to give yourself as much Spirit Walk uptime as possible and to get a greater Damage buff from the Captain Crimson's Trimmings set. You unfortunately don't have any Crowd Control immunity on a Witch Doctor so try to roll at least 1-2 Crowd Control Reduction Secondary Stats on your Helm or Jewelry. There are many desirable stats for this build which means Vitality is sometimes left behind a bit but this can be made up for easily using Paragon points if needed.
- You are the Lord of the Bears and no one can tell you differently.
- Keep your Wall of Death and Soul Harvest buffs active and never let them fall off, especially on the Rift Guardian as they provide a large portion or your Damage and Toughness respectively.
- Use your Wall of Zombies to push all the enemies into a tight line to maximize the effectiveness of your Area Damage.
- Don't forget to get a Life per Hit roll on your Bracers or Weapon so the Leeching Beasts can heal you immensely.
The buffed Zombie Bears come back as a blast from the past and add an exciting - although at times a bit clunky - build to the Witch Doctor's arsenal. It's not the strongest, but can be used for solo pushing into the higher tiers regardless. But be careful, PETA is watching you!
Written by Facefoot
Contributions by Chewingnom, wudijo
Reviewed by Raxxanterax, wudijo