Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Diablo 3 after 1.0.5

The new patch has arrived, and I thought I'd share a few thoughts about it. True to my word, I have altered my build to accommodate the new changes.

Since abandoning Jungle Fortitude, I have been experimenting for another passive that seems useful. I also happened to have a Thing of the Deep drop, which increases pick up radius by 20 yards. With those factors in mind, I came upon Grave Injustice.

While the health and mana regen is helpful, the key to this skill is the cooldown reduction. I have chosen Grasp of the Dead with cooldown reduction in an attempt to make it an AoE spammable damage spell that also provides crowd control. It also has the effect of reducing your Spirit Walk cooldown, which is incredibly useful in keeping you alive.
  • Mouse Skills
    • Plague of Toads - Rain of Toads (Unchanged)
    • Grasp of the Dead - Desperate Grasp
This was changed several times. I swapped out Pyrogeist for Locust Swarm initially. The idea being there that it is a similar amount of damage that you can cast and forget, except that it affects every member of a large group and deals poison damage (proccing with Bad Medicine).

After choosing Grave Injustice, I switched to Grasp of the Dead - Unbreakable Grasp (80% slow); it was effective, but lacked the spammability I wanted out of a right click spell, so I switched to the reduced cooldown. 
  • Active Skills
    • Spirit Walk - Healing Journey (Unchanged)
    • Wall of Zombies - Barricade
I am slowly learning how useless mana is. I abandoned the mana dump spell, in favour of more crowd control, and have benefited from it. I chose the longer wall rune because all the other runes are pretty terrible, and it occasionally helps to have a wall big enough to block more than the tiniest of chokes.
    • Zombie Dogs - Leeching Beasts (Unchanged)
    • Big Bad Voodoo - Ghost Trance
I switched out Gargantuan because I felt that my other spells could provide adequate crowd control. I also wanted to play with a large cooldown "ultimate" type spell. I originally tried the +30% damage rune, but found that it was difficult to maintain control of the area. I switched to the regeneration rune, which allows me to stay within it easier by regenerating health. I have also found it ENORMOUSLY helpful against Reflects Damage bosses and champions. Especially in the higher monster powers, they feel incredibly hard to kill, and this provides essentially 100% health regeneration over 20 seconds, which is a significant boon.
  • Passive Skills
    • Pierce the Veil (Unchanged)
    • Zombie Handler
I switched out Bad Medicine for Zombie Handler for a couple of reasons; firstly, fewer of my spells deal poison damage now, so it procs with fewer of them; secondly, I switched out Gargantuan, and this allows me to not reduce the number of pets I have; I still wanted a defensive passive, and this seemed a logical fit, as my pets tank most of the damage anyway.
    • Grave Injustice
I have not fully experimented with this build, but I am pretty happy with it for the moment. I really wish there was some useful end to having mana, but it really doesn't seem to justify the trouble of managing mana to do ever-so-slightly more damage.

In terms of gear, I am currently working towards getting Zunimassa's Marrow; once I have it, I will switch out my armour and helm for the Marrow and Andariel's Visage. Zunimassa's Vision is slightly underwhelming, and I am mainly using it for the set bonus to resistances and the socket.

I am enjoying writing about Diablo, and I may do another feature piece on gear for the Witch Doctor.

Until next time,

-Colin

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