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Mundunugu Spirit Barrage Witch Doctor Guide
Mundunugu's Regalia | Witch Doctor | Group | Solo | Bounties | Keys | Push | Speed | Console | HC | SSF | A-tier
About the author
With many years of gaming since childhood under my belt, I have been focusing on reaching new personal achievements and pushing the limits of what's possible at countless opportunities. These days I focus mainly on ARPGs, especially Diablo and PoE, and pursue the highest ranks worldwide. I like to explore, experiment, create my own style and share the best strategies with others on Twitch, YouTube or here on Maxroll! If there's a difficult build out there, you can bet I have played it already.
Introduced with Season 20, the Mundunugu's Regalia is the most recent addition to the Witch Doctor's repertoire and, despite its funny name, the set itself is no joke at all. It focuses around releasing huge AoE bursts with specific setup and timings. As such, it is a very potent Trash Killer, especially when paired with a proper zBarb stacking enemies tightly together, allowing you to unleash devastating damage combos, one-shotting whole Elite packs even all the way up to Greater Rift 150.
The main damaging mechanic in this build Spirit Barrage Phantasm paired with The Barber originated from the old LoD Spirit Barrage theorycrafted during Season 10. While the mechanics are quite complicated, the overall idea is simple: make a pull, place three Phantasms on the ground, wait a few seconds, and then cast three more to instantly release the accumulated damage of the previous Phantasms. The more enemies are in the area and the longer you wait, the stronger the resulting explosions will be.
The build is quite tanky due to Spirit Walk and Grave Injustice in combination. Luckily, you have Big Bad Voodoo Ghost Trance following you around most of the time, thanks to the Mundunugu's Regalia (2) Bonus, to provide valuable healing and defense! This setup is also great for speed content, competing with top tier builds in Nephalem Rifts and Bounties. Keep in mind that this build has an exceptional scaling with monster density, which however requires a lot of Greater Rift fishing to reach the highest tiers.
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. Yet, the setup was stronger than ever in Season 24 with Ethereals (Arioc's Needle). In Season 25 Witch Doctors received additional buffs to Lakumba's Ornament, making the build more tanky and thus a bit stronger again.
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!
❌ Difficult Execution ❌ Sensitive to Fishing ❌ Complicated Mechanics ❌ Low Single Target Damage
The Mundunugu's Regaliaset provides upwards of 20,000% separate damage multiplier to Spirit Barrage, your main damage ability.
Ring of Royal Grandeur in the cube will allow to wear the Captain Crimson's Trimmingsset using the Belt and another piece of your choosing (Pants or Boots).
The Barber is the main item behind the special mechanics of the build, as well as giving a huge 500% damage bonus. Playing around its effect is the key aspect of the build.
Gazing Demise provides us with a 150% separate damage multiplier, makes Phantasms last twice as long and increases Manitou Attack Rate.
Ring of Emptiness activated by Locust Swarm Pestilence for another 300% separate damage multiplier.
Lakumba's Ornament goes along with Sacred Harvester and Soul Harvest Languish for a total of 30% bonus Intelligence, 100% Armor and 60% damage reduction, constituting your main source of toughness.
Season 26 Echoing Nightmares
Echoing Nightmares are a new rewarding endgame activity set within the memories of fallen Nephalem. You must first acquire a Petrified Scream from a Greater Rift Guardian, and then cube it to enter. Once inside you'll be challenged with an endless wave of enemies until you are either overwhelmed or killed. Your goal here is to reach Wave 125 for the highest possible Whisper of Atonement with extra XP rewards added for going higher. Read our complete Season 26 Echoing Nightmare Guide for full information on how it works, and check out our brand new Echoing Nightmare Build Tier List and our META post for the best strategies!
This build is good for this game mode. Typically we utilize a Greater Rift pushing build with a few tweaks.
Swap Bane of the Stricken for Zei's Stone of Vengeance since we are fighting hordes of enemies.
Convention of Elements and Squirt's Necklace replace Endless Walk.
We use Big Bad Voodoo Boogie Man together with Sacrifice Provoke the Pack for more damage.
Reach Wave 100 and click Speed Pylon to boost your mobility and dodge Green Meteors.
When you are more than 40% overwhelmed click Power Pylon.
When you are more than 60% overwhelmed click Channeling Pylon and Conduit Pylon.
After all Pylons expire, run away from monsters and dodge everything to squeeze out an extra 3-5 tiers.
In the early waves, run around and let Manitou do the work. When enemies grow tougher, pull them together and place Phantasm under them. Let them accumulate for a few seconds, then detonate them by recasting the skill. Make sure to keep up Locust Swarm Pestilence for Ring of Emptiness and use Sacrifice before you start a rotation for more damage. Try to use Spirit Walk in a well-timed fashion, while accumulating, and reset its cooldown immediately via Grave Injustice to stay alive.
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.
You want to stack a decent amount of Cooldown Reduction (CDR) to ensure a good uptime of Spirit Walk and Big Bad Voodoo, as these two skills will keep you alive. Grave Injustice will do most of the work, especially with some Pickup Radius. It is also a great offensive stat due to Captain Crimson's Trimmings(3) Bonus. Stack this stat as much as you feel comfortable with in Greater Rift Solo Push.
Attack Speed is a good stat as it is a separate damage 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). In Solo you want to end up at the 21 FPA Breakpoint of Spirit Barrage, which requires you to play 7% Attack Speed on your Weapon and an additional 52% Increased Attack Speed from other sources (Paragon Points, Affixes on your gear as well as Gogok of Swiftness). In groups, 7% Attack Speed on your Weapon is enough; the rest of the Attack Speed will be granted via Pain Enhancer.
For toughness, we prioritize Armor on Pants, Boots, and Chest mixed in with some Vitality and perhaps Elite Damage Reduction on Chest. Resource Cost Reduction is also a good defensive option due to Captain Crimson's Trimmings(3) Bonus. 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. Life Regeneration & Life per Hit are not useful as most of your healing is coming automatically from Big Bad Voodoo Ghost Trance. Mana Regeneration, despite being included in the Mundunugu's Regalia (6) Bonus, is neither useful for resources nor as an actual damage increase (around 0.3% per roll).
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.
Assembling the Build
1. Do the Challenge Rift for the materials to cubeLegendary Powers. You can complete this once a week for additional resources and we always update the guide for you!
2. Gather the full Mundunugu's Regalia set. Each piece can be gambled from Kadala for Bloodshards. Do not salvage any duplicate pieces you find! Instead convert them to another part of the set with Recipe 4 in Kanai's Cube. If you have extra materials you can use Recipe 3 to craft the remaining pieces, but this is expensive and not recommended for new players.
1. ColdDamage 2. Critical Hit Chance 3. Intelligence 4. Vitality 5. Armor 6. All Resistance
The Traveler's Pledge Squirts Necklace The Flavor of Time
1. Socket 2. Critical Hit Damage 3. Cold Damage 4. Critical Hit Chance 5. Damage Range 6. Attack Speed 7. Cooldown Reduction 8. Intelligence
Captain Crimson's Silk Girdle (Crafted) Goldwrap Krelms Buff Belt
1. Intelligence 2. Vitality 3. Life % 4. Armor
Bottomless Potion of the Unfettered
To avoid Crowd Control effects during your DPS phases
Bane of the Trapped is the best DPS gem and applies by default in this build, since Spirit Barrage applies its slow before the damage instance.
The second gem will be Gogok of Swiftness (if you want a good mix of offense and defense) or Pain Enhancer (full offense especially in high-end pushing and group play).
Other choices are Bane of the Stricken for solo pushing, Boon of the Hoarder for Torment farming and Zei's Stone of Vengeance as an extra DPS option in group Greater Rifts. Esoteric Alteration can be used for extra damage reduction when you are feeling squishy or if you are playing on hardcore. Molten Wildebeest's Gizzard is a great choice to protect your Squirt's Necklace either for speedfarming or when pushing in groups.
Spirit Barrage Manitou is our main skill. Phantasm is given for free by Gazing Demise and will deal the bulk of the damage.
Locust Swarm Pestilence to enable the Ring of Emptiness effect.
Spirit Walk Jaunt or Severance for movement, survival and to activate the Mundunugu's Regalia (4) Bonus.
Big Bad Voodoo Ghost Trance will keep you alive and provide a small damage boost.
Soul Harvest Languish for massive damage and damage reduction buffs with Sacred Harvester and Lakumba's Ornament.
The final slot is open and can be filled with different options. Typically Piranhas Piranhado is used to apply debuffs and pull enemies together, which synergizes well with the overall playstyle. In groups, it's possible to use Sacrifice Provoke the Pack as another additive damage buff. Zombie Dogs can be spawned by changing to Big Bad Voodoo Boogie Man or equipping Summon Zombie Dogs.
Rush of Essence provides us with infinite resources.
Grave Injustice reduces our cooldowns when you kill enemies, allowing a very high uptime of Spirit Walk and Big Bad Voodoo.
Defensive choices are Swampland Attunement (very strong in high density, but leaves you vulnerable to Lightning and Arcane), Bad Medicine (could be used in groups to also help out teammates), Spirit Vessel (to help prevent deaths in tough situations).
Other offensive and utility options include Confidence Ritual (main DPS passive), Gruesome Feast (best passive in the game).
Finally, Creeping Death can be used to change the setup slightly. It allows you to use the Cloud of Insects on Locust Swarm for damage reduction and Pain Enhancer stacks (as any Physical DoT counts as Bleed) or apply a 20% multiplicative damage buff with Haunt Poisoned Spirit or infinite Life Regen through Haunt Consuming Spirit. Just keep in mind that the DoTs will disappear when you move too far away (around 1.5 screens) and will have to be reapplied. In large pulls, it will take a while even with multiple casts of Locust Swarm.
Avoid Pierce the Veil when using Captain Crimson's Trimmings as the extra resource costs will increase your damage taken.
1. Movement Speed
1. Critical Hit Damage
1. Resource Cost Reduction
2. Critical Hit Chance
2. Life %
2. Life per Hit
3. Cooldown Reduction
3. All Resistance
3. Pickup Radius
4. Maximum Mana2
4. Attack Speed
4. Life Regeneration
4. Area Damage3
1 Add a bit of Vitality if you feel too squishy (a total of 800,000 Life is recommended). 2 Only consider if you play Aquila Cuirass and don't have enough Resource Cost Reduction. 3 Avoid any source of Area Damage as this build doesn't scale with it and it can lag the game.
Patch 2.7.0 revamped the follower system giving all 3 hirelings new powers and the emanate system. The first thing you should do is read our complete follower guide and remember the key takeaways:
The emanation system allows followers to share certain legendary and set powers with you. The most important ones are: The Flavor of Time, Nemesis Bracers, Avarice Band, Sage’s Journey and Cain’s Destiny. Click the guide above for the full list.
Follower’s powers are based on their main stat (maxed at 25,000, but they have a 2.5x multiplier so you only need 10,000). This means we stack Intelligence on the Enchantress, Dexterity on the Scoundrel and Strength on the Templar.
Followers share 20% of their Experience, Magic and Gold Find stats with you.
Legendary gems do not work on followers, except Esoteric Alteration and Mutilation Guard.
Cooldown Reduction does not work for any follower skill except the Templar’s Heal.
Followers never deal significant damage; you’re on your own to clear the content.
Speed GR Enchantress
GR Pushing Templar
For T16 we recommend this Enchantress setup because she is the only follower that gives Cooldown Reduction, allowing you to spam your abilities more. Since this is T16 content, she’ll stay alive with Esoteric Alteration and Mutilation Guard and use Hand of the Prophet to gain all skills. This will give us Cooldown Reduction, Elemental Damage, Reduced Damage from Ranged Attacks, Armor, Attack Speed, and a Cheat Death. Stat Priorities:Since we do not have the immortality focus, we need to stack survivability on our Enchantress.
Intelligence > Vitality > Life % > Armor > All Resistance > Life Per Hit > Attack Speed.
The Flavor of Time: For double duration on Pylons.
Nemesis Bracers: For extra Elites, Death’s Breaths and In-geom procs.
Avarice Band: For the insane pickup radius.
Ring of Royal Grandeur: To complete our sets.
Gloves of Worship: For 10 Minute Shrine Buffs.
Sage’s Journey: For double Death’s Breaths.
Cain’s Destiny: For 25% more Greater Rift Keystones.
For speed Greater Rifts we recommend this Enchantress setup because she is the only follower that gives Cooldown Reduction, allowing you to spam your abilities more. Since this is speed content, she’ll stay alive with Esoteric Alteration and Mutilation Guard and use Hand of the Prophet to gain all skills. This will give us Cooldown Reduction, Elemental Damage, Reduced Damage from Ranged Attacks, Armor, Attack Speed, and a Cheat Death. Stat Priorities:Since we do not have the immortality focus, we need to stack survivability on our Enchantress. Intelligence > Vitality > Life % > Armor > All Resistance > Life Per Hit > Attack Speed. Key Items:
The Flavor of Time: For double duration on Pylons.
Nemesis Bracers: For more progression from Elites.
Oculus Ring: For 85% increased damage.
Ice Climbers: To make your follower immune to Freeze and Immobilize effects.
Hellfire Ring, Leoric's Crown and Cain's Destiny: For more Experience and Attack Speed.
For Greater Rift pushing we recommend this Templar setup for the sustain from Heal, 10% increased damage from Onslaught, and the very powerful cheat death mechanic from Guardian. This is the only follower build that stacks Cooldown Reduction because it works with Heal. Since we take the immortality relic, we do not need any survivability stats. Stat Priorities:Since we have the immortality relic, we do not need to stack survivability on our Templar. Strength > Cooldown Reduction > Attack Speed. Key Items:
The Flavor of Time: For double duration on Pylons.
Nemesis Bracers: For more progression from Elites.
Oculus Ring: For 85% increased damage.
Unity: For 50% damage reduction if you're also wearing one.
Ice Climbers: To make your follower immune to Freeze and Immobilize effects.
Leoric's Crown and Captain Crimson's Trimmings: For more Cooldown Reduction on Heal.
Spirit Barrage has to be used with care and not always spammed. Doing so will usually actively reduce your overall DPS.
Activate Big Bad Voodoo when it's ready and you are engaging in a difficult fight. Usually you should be able to keep it up almost all the time when getting enough kills with Grave Injustice.
Use Spirit Walk to move through enemies that are in the way, for defense, to dodge affixes and projectiles or similar. Don't waste the cooldown when you are not in danger.
When making a pull, engage enemies by walking or with Locust Swarm, then group them up using Piranhas Piranhado. Make sure that Locust is applied to everything for the Ring of Emptiness effect.
Put your 3x Phantasm on top of each other where you intend to pull enemies together.
Stand still as much as possible to increase the offensive damage bonus from Endless Walk. Time your Spirit Walk with the incoming damage and your Phantasm explosions to reset the cooldown immediately (Grave Injustice won't work if the skill is still active).
Pull/kite more enemies together as your initial Phantasms are ticking on the pull. Try to spawn an Oculus Ringby killing exactly one target (or as few as possible) by recasting Spirit Barrage on top of the stack of enemies until you see one.
Run into the Oculus circle and wait there for as long as possible or until you feel like you have enough accumulated damage to finish everything off already. After 10 seconds, the Phantasm will detonate automatically, otherwise re-cast the skill 3 times.
In longer fights: re-apply Locust Swarm regularly (at least once every 6-8 sec).
Maximize your temporary damage buffs (Oculus Ring, The Traveler's Pledge, maybe Convention of Elements) during the accumulation phase. It's irrelevant if you have them during the detonation, which will count all individual ticks with their individually active buffs together.
In single target situations: Position yourself close enough to stay in range for Manitou as it will deal the bulk of the DPS here.
Witch Doctor is typically not the best class to play in hardcore as you have no immunity to Crowd Control and only limited defensive utility skills with long Cooldowns. Nevertheless, the build is overall fairly tanky and should have no big issues if you are mindful about Elite affixes. Don't forget to use the Spirit Vessel passive at all times!
Concept Mundunugu's Regaliaconstitutes one of the best Nephalem Rift farmer for the Witch Doctor class. Spirit Barrage Manitou continuously attacks for you even while you are moving; all the multipliers from Gazing Demise, the set itself as well as Squirts Necklace provide such a massive damage boost that it's not necessary for you to worry for the accumulation mechanics of The Barber. You can use Phantasms to accumulate extra damage on Elites and the Rift Guardian, however, while moving Manitou will do most of the work. Molten Wildebeest's Gizzard protects Squirts Necklace.
Gameplay Keep up Big Bad Voodoo and Soul Harvest at all times, spam Horrify when near enemies and use Spirit Walk for extra mobility. You will run at an insane pace due to all the Movement Speed buffs, effectively making you fly through Nephalem Rifts, while Goldwrap with Boon of the Hoarder and Avarice Band will grant you invincibility. On tough elite enemies and the Rift Guardian, use Locust Swarm to apply Ring of Emptiness.
When you do longer Torment 16 sessions, you can kill the first few monsters with Big Bad Voodoo active, summon some Zombie Dogs from the Boogie Man rune and then swap the rune to either Slam Dance or Ghost Trance. The dogs will stay permanently and keep your Fierce Loyalty active.
While playing in groups when you can't have the Cain's Destiny effect from your follower, it's possible to kill the boss yourself by accumulating some damage with Phantasm, then swapping items to get the set bonus and detonating them. Even without the Munudunugu's Regalia (6) Bonus active at that moment they will explode for their entire accumulated damage that includes the big multiplier. Be aware that even with great execution, it will not always work and requires a bit of practice to do well.
Setups When you play in groups, replace Warzechian Armguards with Nemesis Bracers and Stone of Jordan with Avarice Band.
If you don't want to deal with Locust Swarm, you can drop it for Sacrifice Provoke the Pack. This way you can improve your overall AoE-DPS when rushing through the rift at the cost of slightly lower nuke potential on the elites.
Concept Mundunugu's Regalia constitutes one of the best Bounty setups for the Witch Doctor class. Spirit Barrage Manitou continuously attacks for you even while you are moving; all the multipliers from Gazing Demise, the set itself as well as Squirts Necklace provide such a massive damage boost that it's not necessary for you to worry for the accumulation of The Barber's mechanics.
Gameplay Keep up Big Bad Voodoo and Soul Harvest at all times, spam Horrify when near enemies and use Spirit Walk for extra mobility. You will run at an insane pace due to all the Movement Speed buffs, effectively making you fly through Bounties.
If you want to optimize your runs, you can kill the first few monsters with Big Bad Voodoo active, summon some Zombie Dogs from the Boogie Man rune and then swap the rune to either Slam Dance or Ghost Trance. The dogs will stay permanently and keep your Fierce Loyalty active.
Setups If you feel too squishy, you can replace Gogok of Swiftness with Boon of the Hoarder and Lakumba's Ornament with Goldwrap and run a version similar to the Torment 16 setup. This will leave you very vulnerable against bosses, which should preferably be completed by someone else. For more consistent toughness at the cost of mobility, you can replace Shukrani's Triumph with Sacred Harvester.
GR Solo Push
Concept This is the setup described in the main sections of the guide. While the potential of this build is very high, you can expect to plug-in a lot more keys than most other builds before you get a playable rift to push very close to your GR limit, but once all the stars align, it will be smooth sailing.
Gameplay The most common mistake newer players commit in this setup is attempting to kill monsters while simply holding down Spirit Barrage continuously. The playstyle requires you to pull monsters via Locust Swarm Pestilence and herd them via Piranhas Piranhado and afterwards place Phantasms on top of the pull.
You must use Spirit Walk in a well-timed fashion, while accumulating, and reset its cooldown immediately via Grave Injustice. Getting the above standing rotation and timings down properly is key in terms of survivability. Simply mindlessly spamming Spirit Barrage not deal enough damage and get you killed.
On the Rift Guardian, you can spam Spirit Barrage as much as you want, as the benefit of accumulating is too small to outweigh the possibility of the boss moving/teleporting out of the area. Just make sure to dodge dangerous attacks, keep up Locust Swarm and stay in range for Manitou. Don't be surprised when the boss "suddenly" explodes at some point - that's the accumulation of Manitou dealing potentially minutes worth of damage all in one hit once it's able to finish off the target.
Be aware that due to a bug Phantasms spawned while you are in Spirit Walk will not accumulate any damage until the effect ends, so avoid this as much as possible.
Setups If you are feeling too squishy, change Confidence Ritual to a defensive option such as Swampland Attunement, Jungle Fortitude or Spirit Vessel. For even more survivability, you can also replace Bane of the Trapped with Esoteric Alteration at a heavy loss of damage. Preferably, add more Vitality through Paragon instead.
At lower Paragon (below 2,000) you can swap Voo's Juicer with Sacred Harvester. This will result in a massive toughness boost and lower your damage potential by around 2 tiers. You will also have to replace a passive for Rush of Essence in order to sustain Mana.
For very high endgame pushes, you can also replace Endless Walk with Convention of Elements and Squirt's Necklace.
Concept This setup can be both run in solo as well as in groups. When in Solo GR speeds make sure to run the Manitou rune on Spirit Barrage. In groups speeds, you can also use that rune as long as the game is not lagging. Gameplay wise there is no difference. Speed GRs with this build are typically running slightly slower and slightly higher Tiers than most other builds due to the slow-paced nature of the build.
Gameplay Keep up Soul Harvest and Big Bad Voodoo at all times, apply Locust Swarm to all enemies and don't worry too much about accumulating damage for too long. In solo runs or without supporters doing it for you, group enemies with Piranhado and spam Phantasms into the pull. You need to get a feel for how much damage you need to blow up elites depending on the pull size, timing is everything!
Setups If you want to speed things up, Echoing Fury will grant 75% Attack Speed after killing only 5 enemies, giving your newly spawned Phantasms a beefy damage boost.
You can also replace Piranhado with Sacrifice Provoke the Pack and change to Big Bad Voodoo Boogie Man to continuously spawn Zombie Dogs, which you'll immediately explode and turn into 100% additional additive damage. This is usually the preferred choice in groups when you have additional defensive buffs and supporters grouping up enemies for you.
For even faster, lower Tiers you can go with Rechel's Ring of Larceny and Horrify Stalker instead of Convention of Elements and Piranhado.
GR Group Trash Killer
Concept Mundunugu's Regalia is likely one of the best, if not the best, scalable group build in the game; the additional power potential is granted via extraordinary team coordination and execution. Extremely well executed Pixelpulls by the zBarb will create amazing density and your Pain Enhancer supplies you with an incredible amount of Attack Speed.
Playing the full setup described below is one of the most difficult things you can do in Diablo 3. For a much easier version of this build drop Summon Zombie Dogs, Sacrifice and Swampland Attunement for Big Bad Voodoo Ghost Trance, Haunt Poisoned Spirit and Creeping Death. The setup does comparable damage given that Haunt is applied to all targets (you will have to spam as much as possible during downtime) but is more likely to lag out on larger pulls.
Gameplay The tricky part in this setup is the timing with Sacrifice Provoke the Pack and Summon Zombie Dogs. You want to preferably have 5 stacks of the damage buff before casting your three Spirit Barrage Phantasms that will detonate the pull. You can achieve this via clever scheduling of events to reset your cooldowns via Grave Injustice:
Cast Summon Zombie Dogs.
Wait for Summon Zombie Dogs to cool down while moving to a new position and let the supports set up a new pull.
Cast Locust Swarm and start weakening the monsters with a few careful Phantasm casts. You don't want to kill anything just yet, you just want to get ready to spawn an Oculus Ring at the right moment later. Make sure to replace the Phantasms inside of the pull early enough by recasting them far away and don't kill all the small trash monsters or you will sabotage own DPS!
As your Convention of ElementsPhysical cycle approaches its end, apply Locust Swarm again and place a Phantasm into the middle of the pull.
Cast Sacrifice three times (granting 3 stacks). Cast Summon Zombie Dogs immediately afterwards. Cast Sacrifice twice (granting additional 2 stacks).
Place three Spirit Barrage Phantasms, which snapshot your 5 stacks granting you +100% additive damage for the entire duration and detonate the Phantasm from step 4.
At this point you should be close to finishing the Poison cycle and most likely see an Oculus Ring. Move into it with Spirit Walk and stand still as much as possible for Endless Walk to accumulate the most damage during the Cold cycle.
After the end of the Cold cycle, recast a single Phantasm to blow up most of the pull. DON'T detonate the remaining two just yet - give your zBarb a second or two to pull in more enemies with Grond Stomp Wrenching Smash before you do so! This way you can expand the AoE-effect and clear more monsters in one go.
Once the Phantasms explode, make sure you are in range with Grave Injustice to reset Summon Zombie Dogs. Immediately recast Summon Zombie Dogs.
Either move to a new position and start from 2. or you immediately continue to DPS starting from 3. yet again.
Generically speaking you want to create an Oculus Ringbefore your main accumulation phase. You don't actually require to have it active for the detonation, as all ticks of every individual Phantasm are calculated and stored with all buffs/debuffs present as they accumulate.
Setups The standard setup includes Frostburn and Zei's Stone of Vengeance and is supported by a zBarb and a zDH. Keep in mind that Zei's grants its first stage at 0 yards (not 10) and its last stage at 40 yards (not 50). It's safe to assume that you'll usually be able stay at 20 yards range for most targets, granting you stage 3. Additionally, there is a bug where Frostburn applies it's Cold bonus twice for Spirit Barrage Phantasm yielding 40% additional Cold damage.
If you want to add more toughness to the setup, you have the option to replace either Frostburn with Aquila Cuirass, Zei's Stone of Vengeance with Esoteric Alteration or the (typical) zDH with a zMonk (going by order of impact for both damage loss & toughness gain). Especially for groups starting out with the Witch Doctor or at low Paragon (2000 or less) one of these options can make sense. Having a very offensive setup is no use if you don't get to finish your rotations properly.
As incentivized in the introduction of this guide, the interactions and mechanics going on in Spirit Barrage builds are "a bit" more complicated than the average build. In order to optimize our Witch Doctor gameplay as much as possible, we must understand everything about it! Earlier in this guide, we talked about 2 different playstyles:
Channeling Playstyle, which means holding down Spirit Barrage, continuously refreshing Phantasms and detonating the oldest one.
Delayed Playstyle, which means letting Phantasms accumulate some damage before detonating them.
While the channeling playstyle feels like a natural choice, it needs to be avoided as much as possible due to Phantasm mechanics. The idea is that you can have up to 3 Phantasms alive at once, and if you keep casting Spirit Barrage, the oldest one will detonate for the damage accumulated by The Barber. However, Phantasm first accumulation tick happens on the first frame it is cast and then every 30 frames, regardless of your Attack Speed.
This means that depending on your Spirit Barrage Attack Speed Breakpoint, simply holding down and channeling Spirit Barrage will every now and then refresh a Phantasm only a few frames before or even on the exact frame it should have accumulated damage, losing frames towards a tick and significantly reducing your overall damage output. The best case scenario is to refresh a Phantasm right after an accumulation tick.
This explains why you want to avoid channeling for long periods of time and why there are specific Spirit Barrage Breakpoints you absolutely want to avoid as they are "eating" Phantasm ticks extremely often, the most relevant being the 20 FPA and the 30 FPA Breakpoints. These considerations have been unraveled in this old reddit post.
Another reason to avoid the channeling playstyle at all costs is that it can effectively reduce your damage burst even more compared to a delayed detonation playstyle. Let's say you have 3 Phantasms accumulating damage on a pack of monsters.
If you detonate one of them, it would be enough to kill half of the pull; however, killing half the pull with one Phantasm would also mean your remaining Phantasms now accumulate damage on half the targets, making it more difficult to kill tougher enemies like Elite Packs. This is why you want to accumulate for as long as you can, and need to be very thoughtful about when to detonate. Monster density is by a long shot your biggest source of damage in this build.
The takeaway is to simply never channelSpirit Barrage, except on single target fights like Rift Guardians with a 21-23 FPA Breakpoint. Manitou does not require us to channel at all times and is not affected by Attack Speed in any way; holding down Spirit Barrage will simply constantly refresh its 20 second duration and Phantasms. Manitou will passively accumulate damage and stack Bane of the Stricken for us, we just need to make sure all 3 Phantasms are positioned on the Rift Guardian hitbox at all times if we don't have a proper Attack Speed Breakpoint to channel.
Another important reason to not mindlessly channel Spirit Barrage is any Phantasm spawned during Spirit Walkwill not accumulate damage until Spirit Walk is over! Never touch Spirit Barrage while under the effects of Spirit Walk.
A relative damage output comparison of the possible playstyles can be seen here:
Spirit Barrage Phantasm & Pets Mechanics
Spectres from Phantasm are treated as pets and obey to very specific rules, often acting like a pet and sometimes not, which leads to several unique interactions.
Like other pets, Attack Speed is a separate damage multiplier for Phantasms.
Similarly, Spirit Barrage damage affix on your equipment is counted as a separate damage multiplier for Phantasm. This reason alone makes Voo's Juicer a solid item choice due to its fifth affix that grants 45-60% Spirit Barrage damage.
Surprisingly, Ring of Emptiness, an item specifically designed to work with non-pet abilities only, does buffSpirit Barrage Phantasm damage.
Mask of Jeram and Enforcer do not increase Spirit Barrage Phantasm damage anymore since the Season 21 launched alongside the patch 2.6.9.
Frostburn's legendary affix granting "Cold skills deal 15-20% increased damage" double dips on Phantasm damage, for a total of 40% additional Cold damage.
Spirit Barrage Phantasm
You can have 3 Phantasms at a time.
They last for 5 seconds (10 seconds with Gazing Demise), ticking once every 0.5 seconds (30 frames).
With The Barber equipped, they will deal no damage while on the ground. Instead, they will accumulate that damage (as in: add up / remember what they would have done) and then release it in the final explosion at the end of the duration (with the extra damage multiplier).
Casting Spirit Barrage while you have 3 Phantasms active will detonate the oldest one (with its accumulated damage).
Each tick is scaled by Attack Speed (sheet APS being a separate damage multiplier), making Pain Enhancer your strongest DPS gem by far in high density situations.
The Attack Speed multiplier snapshots for each Phantasm individually upon cast. Moving out of the pull and therefore losing Pain Enhancer stacks will not reduce the Attack Speed multiplier of already placed Phantasms.
Intelligence is snapshot by each Phantasm upon cast, including Soul Harvest and Gruesome Feast bonuses.
All damage buffs are dynamically calculated for each tick during the accumulation phase with the exception of additive buffs like Sacrifice Provoke the Pack or Big Bad Voodoo Slam Dance, which are snapshot upon Phantasm cast. This means that you accumulate (wait) during DPS buffs like Oculus Ring or Convention of Elements and detonate afterwards. You won't need to have those buffs when the Phantasms explode.
The explosions from The Barber cannot proc Area Damage as they have proc coefficient of 0, hence why it's not taken as a stat and actively removed from Paragons to reduce lags.
Spirit Barrage Manitou
Casting Spirit Barrage once will activate Manitou, an eerie ghost sentry hovering above your head.
Manitou lasts 20 seconds and shoots 2 projectiles per second (for up to 40).
With Gazing Demise, Manitou's Attack Rate is improved by 450%, going from 2 projectiles per second to around 11 projectiles.
Manitou'sAttack Rate is fixed, it does not have Attack Speed Breakpoints, hence adding more Attack Speed does not improve damage any further.
In conjunction with Voo's Juicer, the numerous projectiles from Manitou are effectively triggering the effects of The Spirit is Willing and Phlebotomize runes.
Not accumulating for 1.5 second will release the explosion, which means running out of range as you can't stop Manitou Attacks otherwise... or dying but the explosion lacks most damage multipliers in this case.
Manitou will immediately explode as soon as enough damage has been accumulated to finish off the target, so no time can be lost by waiting too long. You cannot overkill a target (accumulate for too long).
When accumulating for long periods of time on the same target (especially Rift Guardians), you won't see any damage done to the enemy until The Barber explosion is released.
If there is more than one nearby enemy, Manitou will randomly switch between targets within 40 yards and create tiny The Barber explosions all the time. In high group Greater Rifts, you should avoid using this rune to reduce lag since all of your damage will come from Phantasm.
The 100% Damage bonus while in the Spirit Realm from Shukrani's Triumph is an additive damage buff, meaning its effect is additive with other buffs such as Pierce the Veil.
You are in the Spirit Realm when in Spirit Walk and when Spirit Vessel procs.
After the initial duration of Spirit Walk (2 seconds or 3 with Jaunt), you stay indefinitely under Spirit Walk until you attack 3 times or until you have any Elite enemy within 20 yards.
A very interesting property of Spirit Walk is that you do not generate aggro under this effect, which means you are invisible to all monsters. This mechanic can be used to your advantage on some Rift Guardians which need a target to perform some abilities (Bloodmaw's Jump for instance).
When applied, Locust Swarm jumps to another nearby enemy once every second. With Creeping Death, this effect stays permanently as long as you are in range. It fades when you move ~1.5 screens away.
The Cloud of Insects rune can be used to apply bleed to enemies for Pain Enhancer, as any Physical DoT effect provides the extra Attack Speed effect.
This ability is one of the few ways in the game to pixelpull enemies.
If used on top of enemies, it will pull them close together but not pixelpull most of them. In order to get the best pull possible, it has to be used on a spot with no other nearby enemies.
Put together the core items and acquire the full Mundunugu's Regalia set.
Don't stand still and simply channel Spirit Barrage.
Timing your rotations is key and incredibly rewarding.
Use Spirit Walk when it's truly needed.
Wait for your group to correctly setup a dense pull for you to kill.
Enjoy this powerhouse of a Witch Doctor build!
Written by sVr, wudijo & Chewingnom. Updated by wudijo.
Apr 1st 2022
Updated for Season 26 / Patch 2.7.3.
Refined Solo & Group Push Setups.