Helltooth Zombie Bears Witch Doctor Guide


Helltooth Zombie Bears Solo Push

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.

Bears! ✔
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

Core Setup

Core Item Build


  • 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 27 Sanctified Items

Angelic Crucibles are new consumables that drop anywhere once you're Level 70. Using them on items reforges them into Sanctified Items with Primal Ancient stats, and adds one of three new unique Class Powers listed below. For full details on how they work, check out this Seasonal Guide by Chewingnom!

Let's look at our Class Powers and see how they apply to our build:

  1. The best power for us is the Sanctified Horrify for a free 100% additive damage buff on monsters.
  2. The Sanctified Haunt power is also a solid option since this build utilizes Area Damage.
  3. The Sanctified Gargantuan power shouldn't be used with this build.

Since you can only equip one of them, choosing the right item to craft it on matters! Great candidates are Weapons, Offhands, Jewelry or any item with an important multiplier. With that in mind, we recommend Sanctifying one of the following items:

  • Ursua's Trodden Effigy
  • Ring of Emptiness
  • The Compass Rose

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.

Assembling the Build

1. Do the Challenge Rift for the materials to cube Legendary Powers. You can complete this once a week for additional resources and we always update the guide for you!

2. Gather the full Helltooth Harness 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.

3. Gamble from Kadala in this order:

  1. The full Helltooth Harness set
  2. Ursua's Trodden Effigy
  3. Shukrani's Triumph
  4. Lakumba's Ornament and Nemesis Bracers
  5. Ring of Emptiness, Rechel's Ring of Larceny and Convention of Elements
  6. Scrimshaw
  7. Sacred Harvester
  8. Echoing Fury

4. Craft using Recipe 3 in Kanai's Cube in this order:

  1. Spears to get Scrimshaw
  2. Rings to get Ring of Emptiness, Rechel's Ring of Larceny and Convention of Elements
  3. Amulets for Traveler's Pledge, Squirt's Necklace and The Flavor of Time
  4. Anything from the Gamble list in Step 3 that you haven't already acquired

5. Do Bounties to acquire several important items for this build:

  • Act 1: Ring of Royal Grandeur
  • Act 2: Gloves of Worship (for your follower)
  • Act 3: Avarice Band
  • Act 4: For any bounty-specific item
  • Bounty Turn In: Recipes for Captain Crimson's Trimmings, Sage's Journey and Cain's Destiny

Item Stat Priorities

In-geom (Cubed)
1. Damage Range
2. Socket Ramaladni's Gift
3. Damage %
4. Attack Speed
5. Intelligence
6. Area Damage
Off-HandUrsua's Trodden Effigy
Shukrani's Triumph (Cubed)
1. Damage Range
2. Zombie Charger Damage
3. Critical Hit Chance
4. Area Damage
5. Intelligence
6. Elite Damage
7. Vitality
8. Cooldown Reduction
HelmHelltooth Mask1. Socket Flawless Royal Topaz
2. Critical Hit Chance
3. Zombie Charger Damage
4. Intelligence
5. Vitality
GlovesHelltooth Gauntlets1. Critical Hit Chance
2. Critical Hit Damage
3. Attack Speed
4. Intelligence
5. Area Damage
6. Cooldown Reduction
7. Resource Cost Reduction
ShouldersHelltooth Mantle1. Area Damage
2. Resource Cost Reduction
3. Cooldown Reduction
4. Intelligence
5. Vitality
Chest Helltooth Tunic1. Sockets Flawless Royal Topaz
2. Intelligence
3. Vitality
4. Armor
5. Elite Damage Reduction
PantsHelltooth Leg Guards
Captain Crimson's Thrust (Crafted)
1. Intelligence
2. Vitality
3. Armor
4. Sockets Flawless Royal Topaz
BootsHelltooth Greaves
Captain Crimson's Waders (Crafted)
1. Zombie Charger Damage
2. Intelligence
3. Vitality
4. Armor
5. All Resistance
Ring 1
The Compass Rose
Ring of Royal Grandeur (A1 Bounties, Cubed)
Rechel's Ring of Larceny
1. Socket
2. Critical Hit Damage
3. Critical Hit Chance
4. Attack Speed
5. Area Damage
Ring 2Ring of Emptiness
Avarice Band (A3 Bounties, Cubed)
Convention of Elements
1. Socket
2. Critical Hit Damage
3. Critical Hit Chance
4. Attack Speed
5. Area Damage
BracersLakumba's Ornament
Warzechian Armguards
Nemesis Bracers
1. Poison Damage
2. Critical Hit Chance
3. Intelligence
4. Life per Hit
5. Armor
AmuletSquirt's Necklace
The Traveler's Pledge
The Flavor of Time
1. Socket
2. Poison Damage
3. Critical Hit Damage
4. Critical Hit Chance
5. Intelligence
BeltCaptain Crimson's Silk Girdle (Crafted)
Goldwrap (Cubed)
Belt of Transcendence (Cubed)
1. Intelligence
2. Vitality
3. Armor
4. Life %
5. All Resistance
PotionBottomless Potion of Kulle-AidFor breaking walls to pull
enemies and increase DPS


  • Bane of the Trapped is the most powerful DPS gem in the game and provides a 1.6x Damage multiplier.
  • Bane of the Stricken is needed to kill the Rift Guardian at the end of the Rift when solo pushing.
  • Gogok of Swiftness is a great option for speed Greater Rift runs as it provides Attack Speed, Cooldown Reduction as well as a toughness buff.
  • Zei's Stone of Vengeance is a great option as we often hit enemies from a distance with the long range of Zombie Bears
  • Bane of the Powerful is a good option for speed Greater Rift runs as it provides consistent long lasting Damage and Damage Reduction buff.
  • Molten Wildebeest's Gizzard can be used to gain a shield buff for Squirt's Necklace on top of insane healing in T16 runs.


  • Zombie Charger is what this entire build is based around and will be the primary source of Damage with this build. Using the rune Zombie Bears you'll channel a constant stream of Bears that destroy everything in front of you for 520% weapon Damage each.
  • Wall of Death is utilized with the Helltooth Harness to grant 17,500% increased Damage to Zombie Charger for 15 seconds. Wall of Zombies is great to use while pushing as it allows you to group up enemies quite well which assists our Area Damage. Communicating with Spirits is another great choice as it synergizes well with Piranhas as well as the additional 25% Damage Reduction it applies to enemies.
  • Soul Harvest gives 3% Intelligence per enemy affected up to 5 stacks normally and 10 if using the Sacred Harvester, it also boosts your Armor by 10% per stack when using Languish and Movement Speed by 5% per stack when using Soul to Waste.
  • Summon Zombie Dogs Leeching Beasts is used in T16 for the Movement Speed buff from Fierce Loyalty.
  • Horrify is used for all builds to take advantage of the Sanctified Horrify power.
  • Piranhas Piranhado gives you a way to "pixel" enemies together for maximum Area Damage, as well as causing enemies to take 15% more Damage during its duration. Cast it in an area with no enemies present to get the best pull possible. This skill synergizes well with the Communicating with Spirits rune and can be used effectively especially if you find yourself in group Greater Rifts where you may have support characters increasing your toughness as well as pulling enemies together.
  • Spirit Walk Severance is mostly used for mobility as well as defensive purposes but also can be used offensively with the help from Shukrani's Triumph.
  • Locust Swarm Pestilence is what allows us to get the 300% Damage buff from the Ring of Emptiness.


  • Confidence Ritual gives a 25% multiplicative Damage increase to enemies within 20 yards which is a common occurrence since you are regularly casting Soul Harvest.
  • Swampland Attunement gives a massive Resistance boost for every enemy within 20 yards, up to a maximum of 25 targets increasing our toughness to those elements by roughly 50%! This synergizes well with Confidence Ritual and our close combat playstyle. It's important to note that this bonus is also impacted by your Pickup Radius, increasing the range of the effect.
  • Grave Injustice is an amazing Passive that restores 1% of our Life and Mana as well as reducing our skills Cooldowns by 1 second every time an enemy dies within 20 yards, like Swampland Attunement this bonus is also impacted by your Pickup Radius, increasing the range of the effect.
  • Blood Ritual provides further Resource Cost Reduction by allowing 20% of Mana costs to come from Life, this passive also gives 1% Life per Second! This passive synergizes with Captain Crimson's Trimmings for a further 25% toughness boost and is necessary to use if you're wanting to have Aquila Cuirass.
  • In T16 and speed Greater Rifts Gruesome Feast can be utilized for a consistent Damage boost as you'll get a lot of Health Globes naturally when killing enemies so rapidly. Fierce Loyalty is also great for the 15-30% Speed bonus.
  • Spirit Vessel is the Witch Doctor's Cheat Death and can be used to provide an extra layer of protection if needed!

Paragon Points

1. Movement Speed1. Attack Speed1. Armor1. Area Damage
2. Maximum Mana2. Critical Hit Damage2. Life %2. Resource Cost Reduction
3. Intelligence3. Critical Hit Chance3. All Resistance3. Pickup Radius
4. Vitality14. Cooldown Reduction4. Life Regeneration4. Life Per Hit

1 Add a bit of Vitality if you feel too squishy (a total of 800,000 Life is recommended).


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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Guardian's Jeopardy (3) Bonus works for followers by improving their inherent stat multiplier from x2.5 to x3.5, making it slightly easier to hit the 25,000 main stat threshold if needed.
  4. Followers share 20% of their Experience, Magic and Gold Find stats with you.
  5. Legendary gems do not work on followers, except Esoteric Alteration and Mutilation Guard.
  6. Cooldown Reduction does not work for any follower skill except the Templar’s Heal.
  7. Followers never deal significant damage; you’re on your own to clear the content.

With these in mind, let’s get into our recommendations for this build.


  1. Right away you want to focus on getting Soul Harvest stacks as well as making sure to hit an enemy with Wall of Death or Zombie Bears to get your Damage Reduction from the Helltooth Harness (4) Bonus before getting into too much trouble. Soul Harvest has a range of 16 yards so it's wise to get the Damage Reduction buff from Wall of Death before you move in for the Soul Harvest buff.
  2. The defensive buff from Helltooth Harness lasts for 10 seconds and the offensive buff lasts for 15, keep this in mind and make sure you are keeping both buffs throughout the entirety of the rift. When fighting a Rift Guardian in high Greater Rifts it's very important to keep these Soul Harvest stacks at 5+. If you die it will take almost 2 minutes to get these stacks back and you'll have to do it slowly and carefully unless you want to die again and start the process over. ALWAYS keep your Soul Harvest stacks up, especially on the Rift Guardian!
  3. Focus on gathering enemies together by kiting them through the rift and spreading Locust Swarm around. Once you have a large pack of enemies cycle through your buffs: Wall of Death, Piranhas, Soul Harvest, Horrify and Spirit Walk before channeling Zombie Bears to take them down.
  4. You'll find that with big groups of enemies this build can eliminate a pack very quickly, however once your pack is dwindling down your Damage will fall off significantly. It's also very important to note that the Zombie Bears will collide with objects and terrain on the map and this results in some extremely clunky play at times. Try to keep your packs of enemies in open areas and use Wall of Zombies or Piranhado to pixel them into the open as much as possible.


This build already holds up very well defensively but lacks the ability to impede Crowd Control from enemies which can be a bit more troublesome in Hardcore. Flawless Royal Topaz can be used in Softcore or at high Paragon but changing these out to Flawless Royal Ruby or Flawless Royal Emerald will provide a noticeable armor boost. Another great way to get more defensive is to put even more Paragon points into Vitality. Also make sure to grab Spirit Vessel!

Check out our dedicated Hardcore Survival Guide to learn more about how to succeed in this game mode!


Nephalem Rifts
Zombie Bears T16

For Nephalem Rifts moving as fast as possible is the primary objective and to do so you'll be taking advantage of our good friend Gold as well as grabbing as much Cooldown as possible for improved Spirit Walk uptime. Skill wise you'll be changing from Languish to Soul to Waste as well as picking up Horrify Stalker, for Passives we grab Fierce Loyalty, Grave Injustice and Gruesome Feast.

Throw an In-geom into the Cube. Pick up Horrify Stalker and put on Rechel's Ring of Larceny to get a tremendous Movement Speed buff. Molten Wildebeest's Gizzard can be used to gain a shield for Squirt's Necklace. The final touch is the combination of Goldwrap, Avarice Band and Boon of the Hoarder which make you immortal once gold starts dropping.

This build is a little clunky compared to some others but still quite fun and speedy in Nephalem Rifts. The big difference here is we need to make sure to keep our Horrify buff up at all times but the rest is mostly business as usual but with extra speed! Once you arrive to some enemies use Wall of Death, Soul Harvest and Piranhas to get your buffs then channel Zombie Bears until the enemies perish.

If you're doing more than enough damage, you can replace Wormwood with In-Geom and take Stone of Jordan over Ring of Emptiness. Another option is to just swap the weapon and manually cast Locust Swarm (instead of Piranhado) for the buff.

In groups, take Nemesis Bracers instead of Warzechian Armguards for the additional elites from pylons! If you still feel strong enough, swap Captain Crimon's Trimmings with Sage's Journey.

GR Solo Push
Zombie Bears Solo Push

The Solo Push build is the one described in the Core section of this guide as well as the focus of the Gameplay section above. You are going to DPS with Zombie Bears, keeping up buffs at all times as you progress through the Rift. Go for Area Damage as a higher stat priority on this build instead of focusing on Cooldown Reduction like the other Variants. On top of that you'll need extra Toughness while pushing, use Belt of Transcendence so the Fetish's can act as a distraction.

Slowly make your way through the rift dragging all enemies along with you while casting Zombie Bears. Once you have a large pack in the center of an area unleash a stampede of Zombie Bears. Things will feel pretty good until you get to the Rift Guardian, try to give yourself a lot of time as we are at our weakest during the boss fight by a considerable margin. Keep those Stricken stacks building up and never let your Soul Harvest fall off. If it does be VERY careful as you get your stacks up to 5+ before trying anything heroic.

Another variant is using Wall of Zombies to push around enemies. If you have extreme trouble surviving, replace Piranhas Piranhado with Summon Zombie Dogs Leeching Beasts for insane recovery.

Belt of Transcendence can be a solid option as the Fetish's will act as a distraction and help keep the enemies grouped up for you to burst them down.

Instead of Endless Walk you can also play the build with the Squirt's Necklace + Convention of Elements combo. Like this you won't have to stand still all the time but it only works better when you can keep up the amulet's buff sometimes.

GR Solo Speeds
Zombie Bears Speed GR

In speed Greater Rifts you are essentially doing the same thing as in solo but at a much faster pace, in content that we can decimate in a few minutes at most. You will be giving up a decent amount of toughness to pick up Movement Speed while maintaining enough Damage to make sure they go quick.

Here you are going to be moving a lot faster as well as having your Spirit Walk much more often compared to the pushing variant. Use this to your advantage and jump from Elite to Elite while your Locust Swarm is following you, cast Wall of Death and Piranhas when you see an Elite or large pack of enemies then hit them with Soul Harvest and channel the Zombie Bears! Watch your Squirt's Necklace and play around Convention of Elements as much as possible.

In groups, take Nemesis Bracers instead of Warzechian Armguards for the additional elites from pylons if no one else has them! If you can't keep up your Squirt's Necklace, try using Belt of Transcendence in the cube instead.

Video Guide

Guide Video


Zombie Charger Zombie Bears

  • Zombie Bears will spawn 20 yards behind your character when you cast them. If you put your back up against terrain it will force them to spawn in front of you thus increasing their range by the amount that's been compensated.
  • The interaction between Zombie Bears and terrain in general is very clunky and they will be stopped by nearly any terrain or object in your path. They don't seem to function well when stacking against a wall either so always try to get your back up against something and channel them into an open space.
  • Zombie Bears are considered a projectile but will not be slowed by Missile Dampening Rare Elites.

Locust Swarm

  • 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.

Piranhas Piranhado

  • This ability is one of the few ways in the game to pixelpull enemies.
  • If used on top of enemies, it pulls them close together but does 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.

Gruesome Feast

  • Each stack, received upon picking up a Health Globe, has its own duration.
  • You need 5 globes every 15 seconds or one Health Globe every three seconds to keep it at full power.
  • The Intelligence bonus stacks additively with Soul Harvest's bonus.


  • 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.


Aug 11th 2022
Updated for Season 27 / Patch 2.7.4.

Apr 1st 2022
Updated for Season 26 / Patch 2.7.3.