Spirit Barrage has been a mysterious skill throughout Diablo III's history. The Barber was initially introduced in Season 9, but its first viable build didn't appear until Season 10 when players discovered that Phantasms were considered Pets, which let them benefit from Mask of Jeram, Enforcer, and using Attack Speed as a separate damage multiplier.
After being the top dog in solo and groups in Seasons 10 and 11, LoN Spirit Barrage fell out of relevance due to other builds being buffed. It is only with Season 20 and the addition of Mundunugu's Regalia that Spirit Barrage builds became viable again due to The Barber and Gazing Demise buffs.
Unfortunately, Season 21 brought a significant nerf to the build by removing the ability for Phantasm to benefit from Mask of Jeram and Enforcer. Season 23 further nerfed Spirit Barrage by lowering the Gazing Demise damage multiplier.
While Spirit Barrage is best used with its dedicated Mundunugu's Regalia Set, Legacy of Dreams is an interesting setup choice as it is tankier and allows for more flexibility. Additionally, even though LoN Carnevil dominates on the No Set leaderboard, you can have decent performances with it due to its exceptional scaling with monster density, which however requires a lot of Greater Rift fishing.
Unlike most others, this is not an Area Damage (AD) build, since all your damage comes from The Barber explosions which cannot proc it. It does replicate it though by redirecting the damage done by Spirit Barrage to all targets within 15 yards. This setup relies on many interactions between Phantasm and Manitou with The Barber, which makes it hands down one of the most complicated builds to fully understand in the entire game (see Mechanics). This guide will steer you through all the mechanics behind Spirit Barrage!
Unique Playstyle ✔
Insane AoE damage ✔
Rewarding Explosions ✔
Rewards Excellent Gameplay ✔
❌ Difficult Execution
❌ Sensitive to Fishing
❌ Complicated Mechanics
❌ Low Single Target Damage
- The Barber is the core item behind the special mechanics of the build and gives us a 500% damage bonus to Spirit Barrage.
- Gazing Demise provides us with a 150% separate damage multiplier, makes Phantasms last twice as long and increases Manitou Attack Rate.
- Voo's Juicer grants us both The Spirit is Willing and Phlebotomize on top of 60% Spirit Barrage damage.
- Ring of Emptiness activated by Locust Swarm Pestilence for another 300% separate damage multiplier.
- Squirt's Necklace is rarely used for Witch Doctors but due to Phantasm accumulation mechanics, it is the most beneficial item for this slot.
- Belt of Transcendence allows us to get an army of 15 Fetishes at all times that we are going to use as meat shields to reduce incoming damage and protect Squirt's Necklace as much as possible.
- Stone Gauntlets provide an outrageous amount of mitigation and their negative effect can be fully negated by Ice Climbers.
- Convention of Elements is another separate damage multiplier, giving you triple damage for Phantasms ticks accumulated during your Cold cycle.
- Aquila Cuirass and Unity grant us two sources of 50% damage reduction.
- Lakumba's Ornament provides us with another 70% damage reduction with Soul Harvest Languish which already gives us 15% Intelligence and 50% Armor.
Global Stat Priorities
You want to stack damage stats wherever possible, especially Critical Hit Chance and Damage, Attack Speed as well as Cold Damage and Spirit Barrage Damage. Area Damage is useless in this build (and actively avoided in groups including in Paragon Points) as we only deal damage with The Barber explosions. Cooldown Reduction is not really needed as Grave Injustice will do all the work, especially with some Pickup Radius. It is still a good defensive stat to get on items lacking good offensive options like Shoulders and Off-Hand.
Increased Attack Speed is a good stat as it is a separate multiplier for Phantasms and it helps us out stacking Bane of the Stricken. Manitou does not scale with Attack Speed in any way while Phantasm cast rate depends on Attack Speed Breakpoints when holding down Spirit Barrage, hence it is important to stay away from some Spirit Barrage Breakpoints (see Mechanics).
For toughness, we prioritize Vitality and Elite Damage Reduction on Chest. Phantasm accumulation mechanics require a pretty static playstyle and Manitou grants us a good Life recovery with Phlebotomize. This is why we aim for around 900,000 HP in Greater Rift Solo Push. The next priority would be Armor wherever it is possible, mainly in Chest and Pants sockets using Flawless Royal Emerald if you feel too squishy. Physical, Lightning or Arcane Resistances as a Secondary Affix are generally useful to have as Arcane Enchanted, Orbiter and Mortar Elite Affixes are your worst enemies by a long shot.
While not mandatory, Maximum Mana as secondary Affix is recommended on both Weapon and Mojo as it greatly helps with Aquila Cuirass uptime after casting Locust Swarm or Piranhas. Crowd Control Reduction is an incredibly valuable secondary Affix to roll on both Rings, Amulet and Helmet as we are very sensitive to Hard Crowd Control effects and mitigating these will ease up our gameplay significantly. Make sure to get the Primary Affixes locked in before attempting to get CCR though.
- Put together the core items and level up the Legacy of Dreams gem.
- Don't stand still and channel Spirit Barrage.
- Pulling off the proper rotation around Grave Injustice and Spirit Walk is the key and is incredibly rewarding.
- Seek out massive monster density and use Locust Swarm to help you pull several screens at once.
- Detonate your way to victory!
Written by Chewingnom.