Firebats is a well-known Witch Doctor skill, used all the way back before Seasons. Further down the road, it has been the META Trash Killer of choice from Season 7 to 9, juggling between Helltooth and Spirit of Arachyr sets.
The latter provides a generic damage multiplier to all Creature skills. In this build we combine this damage boost with the iconic Firebats channeling playstyle and crazy Attack Speed values from the Staff of Chiroptera and Pain Enhancer.
Creature skills on the Witch Doctor are Corpse Spiders, Plague of Toads, Firebats, Locust Swarm, Hex and Piranhas. Out of all these skills Firebats has the most damage potential with its Attack Speed scaling potential paired with channeling buffs from Taeguk and Mantle of Channeling. On top of that there are high damage multipliers available from Staff of Chiroptera and Bakuli Jungle Wraps. During Season 24, Ethereals brought an impressive damage potential buff to the setup due to the breathtaking Attack Speed granted by Ghostflame.
This is an Area Damage (AD) build, since Firebats Cloud of Bats can proc it. This is further enhanced by the incredible Attack Speed scaling of the setup allowing you to melt monsters in high density (see Mechanics). While the build is fun to play, it lacks damage compared to the best performing Witch Doctor builds. Yet with this potential, it is not entirely excluded that Arachyr Firebats Witch Doctor becomes once again the META Trash Killer in the future! Anyways, it is your build of choice to compete on the Spirit of Arachyr leaderboards!
Fun to Play ✔ Strong Set Identity ✔ Medium Range Build ✔ Crazy Attack Speed Scaling ✔
You get 17,500% Firebats damage from Spirit of Arachyr (6) Bonus as well as damage reduction and recovery from the Spirit of Arachyr(4) Bonus whenever you cast Hex during 15 seconds after.
Staff of Chiroptera is one of the best items for this build giving 100% faster attacks (more details in the Mechanics section), 75% reduced Mana costs and 150% increased damage.
Bakuli Jungle Wraps give 300% increased damage as long as enemies are affected by Locust Swarm or Piranhas.
Lakumba's Ornament and Sacred Harvester give tremendous toughness and damage buffs by doubling our Soul Harvest stacks.
Ring of Emptiness provides us with a crazy 300% damage buff as long as the target is affected by either Haunt or Locust Swarm.
Ring of Royal Grandeur allows us to complement Spirit of Arachyr with Captain Crimson's Trimmings.
Vile Hive spreads Locust Swarm quickly with Pestilence to ensure Ring of Emptiness and Bakuli Jungle Wraps uptime, while still getting the damage reduction from Cloud of insects.
Season 24 Ethereals
Ethereals are powerful rare weapons that can only be found during Season 24. They have incredible stats, a random Legendary power, and a free passive for your class. Read our Ethereal Mechanics Guide for full details on how they work and our Ethereal Farming Guide to learn how to acquire them. What you should prioritize on them is the following:
TheLegendary Power This build requires Sacred Harvester and Staff of Chiroptera to be functional. We need our Ethereal to roll one of these powers so we can cube the other. We also want a good roll on our Legendary power if it has a range. For speed content it is always helpful to have Ethereals with Echoing Fury or In-geom powers, so keep those if you find them.
TheEtherealItself There are 3 different weapons available to us, each with its own benefits:
Ghostflame - This is the Ethereal we absolutely want as it is the only one granting 200% damage to Secondary Skills, which includes Firebats. Its insane Attack Speed is very beneficial to us as well, allowing us to reach the 5 FPA Breakpoint in solo push.
The Gidbinn and Arioc's Needle - These are better than normal Weapons but they're not giving 200% damage to Firebats, hence they are both tremendously weaker than Ghostflame.
The EtherealStat Rolls Each Ethereal comes with its own fixed set of powerful affixes. While some have a static value, many have a wide stat range. This means the difference between good and bad and good rolls is significant and something you should look for.
A Useful Passive This is just icing on the cake because a fifth passive is not going to make or break your build. You're better off hunting for the things above. Check out the Passives section down below to see which ones you're looking for.
Global Stat Priorities
Attack Speed provides insane damage benefits for this channeling build and we definitely want to reach certain Breakpoints (see Mechanics). Generally you always want to have 7% Attack Speed rolled on your weapon in this build as this bonus is calculated multiplicatively to other Attack Speed bonuses.
In group, the majority of our Attack Speed comes from the secondary effect of Pain Enhancer. This means we don't need to stack additive Attack Speed rolls on gear to reach the 3 frames Firebats Breakpoint with 47 Pain Enhancer stacks. In the Solo setup we take the Enchantress with Focused Mind to reach the 8 frames Breakpoint. The faster we attack the more Mana channeling Firebats drains. For that reason we need to use Haunt Draining Spirit in the Trash Killer variant and Spirit Walk Honored Guest in Solo Push to regain our Mana.
Cooldown Reduction is not mandatory for this build, but it's helpful to use a Flawless Royal Diamond in your helm and take a "free roll" on your shoulder for Spirit Walk uptime to move, avoid attacks and gain Mana with Honored Guest. We also gain Cooldown Reduction from Grave Injustice in Solo. Area Damage works with Firebats and all its multipliers so this is one of our most important stats to have all items expect amulet! In solo play, crowd control reduction is a valuable stat on your helm and jewelry to avoid interruptions as much as possible.
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 Spirit of Arachyr 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. Intelligence 2. Vitality 3. Armor 4. Life % 5. All Resistance
Bottomless Potion of the Unfettered
To avoid Crowd Control effects during your DPS phases
Bane of the Trapped is the most common damage gem providing a flat 1.6 damage multiplier. Firebats has 15 yards range so in order to deal damage we have to get within the rank 25 effect on Bane of the Trapped of 15 yards anyways.
Taeguk grants up to 80% additive damage and 20% Armor, making it a great offensive gem since we are a channeling based build with Firebats.
For Solo Bane of the Stricken is needed to kill the Rift Guardian.
Pain Enhancer's secondary effect is our main source of additive Attack Speed in groups. We can hit the 3 frame breakpoint with 47 Pain Enhancer stacks, letting us attack insanely fast. With Locust SwarmPestilence from Vile Hive you will have this bleed on every mob.
We use Firebats as our main damage dealer. Cloud of Bats is the only rune that turns this skill into an area of effect around the player, dealing large amounts of damage to monsters pulled together by Supporters or Piranhas Piranhado. On top of that Firebats Cloud of Bats damage is increased to 850% weapon damage after 3 seconds of channeling far outperforming every other rune in terms of DPS.
Hex is a must have to activate our Spirit of Arachyr(4) Bonus toughness buff. We gain Toad of Hugeness already so take Jinx on the skill bar to gain 15% additive damage.
Soul Harvest is used in combination with Lakumba's Ornament and Sacred Harvester. Together they offer great offensive (a massive boost to Intelligence) and defensive (Armor from Languish, All Resistance through Intelligence and Damage Reduction from Lakumba's Ornament) buffs.
Spirit Walk is mostly used for Movement Speed and defensive purposes but also can be used offensively by moving to an Oculus Ring. In Solo gameplay the rune Honored Guest together with Grave Injustice are essential to regenerate Mana to keep channeling Firebats.
Locust Swarm is recommended for all variants of this build to engage enemies, reduce their damage done by Cloud of Insects and maintain your Bakuli Jungle Wraps and Ring of Emptiness damage buffs.
In Solo Piranhas Piranhado is used to group up monsters. The debuff also stays up essentially forever with the Creeping Death passive.
In Group Haunt Draining Spirit is used to regain Mana in large pulls at high Attack Speed breakpoints. As Haunt stays up almost forever with Creeping Death, Draining Spirit will search for a new target if the affected enemy dies. Haunt has an unlimited number of targets and at high Attack Speed values quickly generates Mana to channel Firebats!
Creeping Death increases the duration of Haunt and possibly Locust Swarm to 120,000 seconds (2,000 minutes, or almost 1.5 days). It ensures Bakuli Jungle Wraps and Ring of Emptiness uptime.
Confidence Ritual is used for a multiplicative damage increase in close range combat using Firebats.
We can take one or two defensive passives especially for Solo. Choose Spirit Vessel as a "cheat death" or Swampland Attunement for an insane Resistance boost when fighting huge monster pulls.
In Solo Grave Injustice is used to reduce cooldowns of Spirit Walk Honored Guest to regain Mana and Piranhas Piranhado to pull enemies together for area of effect damage while channeling.
In Group we take in Gruesome Feast for this last passive slot as it is one of the best passives in the entire game if you have a supporter like the zBarb providing you with Health Globes using skills like Threatening Shout Grim Harvest.
1. Movement Speed
1. Critical Hit Damage
1. Area Damage
2. Critical Hit Chance
2. Life %
2. Resource Cost Reduction
3. Attack Speed
3. All Resistance
3. Pickup Radius
4. Maximum Mana
4. Cooldown Reduction
4. Life Regeneration
4. Life per Hit
1 Add a bit of Vitality if you feel too squishy (a total of 700,000 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:
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 mainstat (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.
With these in mind, let’s get into our recommendations for this build.
For Greater Rifts we recommend this Enchantress setup for the Slow from Temporal Pulse, Cooldown Reduction from Prophetic Harmony, Damage Reduction and Armor from Powered Shield, and the Attack Speed from Focused Mind.
Since we have the immortality relic, we do not need to stack survivability on our Enchantress.
Intelligence> Attack Speed.
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.
Mempo of Twilight and Cain's Destiny: For more Attack Speed.
Start off by using Spirit Walk to run towards enemies and use Soul Harvest Languish to get the offensive & defensive buffs up. Cast your Locust Swarm to DoT up monsters and group them up using Piranhas Piranhado. Always cast Soul Harvest when you are in close combat and the skill is off cooldown. Use Hex to get the Spirit of Arachyr(4) Bonus toughness buff.
Cast Firebats to spawn an Oculus Ring and move there using Spirit Walk for the additional damage buff. Channel Firebats for a longer period of time to reach the maximum damage of Cloud of Bats after 3 seconds before the Oculus Ring buff runs out after 7 seconds. If you are lucky enough to have the new Oculus Ring spawns under you, channel as long as you can survive. Else proceed by pulling, moving and casting Piranhas Piranhado again to repeat your damage rotation.
This build is very squishy and it is hard to add additional toughness buffs. Definitively not recommended for HC! If you want to do so anyway, make sure to stack extra Vitality and always use the Spirit Vessel passive.
Ethereals If you don't have any Ethereal Item equip Sacred Harvester and cube Staff of Chiroptera.
Concept The Spirit of Arachyr Solo build takes the awesome monster grouping power of Piranhas Piranhado and combines it with the strong AoE attack of Firebats Cloud of Bats. With Grave Injustice this setup has tremendous Cooldown Reduction and Life and Mana recovery rates if the monster density is high and the kill speed is fast. Bane of the Stricken is mandatory to kill the Rift Guardian.
Gameplay Keep up your Soul Harvest and use Spirit Walk to skip bad map layouts, dodge attacks and projectiles, and to regenerate Mana with Honored Guest. DoT up enemies with your Locust Swarm to ensure the damage reduction from Cloud of Insects and the damage buffs from Bakuli Jungle Wraps and Ring of Emptiness. Cast Piranhas Piranhado to group up enemies, Hex for Spirit of Arachyr(4) Bonus and start channeling Firebats. Keep pressing Spirit Walk to survive but never stop channeling until you want to move to keep up Taeguk and Cloud of Bats.
Setups At lower Paragon (below 1,000) Piranhas can be replaced with Summon Zombie Dogs Leeching Beasts for insane recovery. Also feel free to change Confidence Ritual to Spirit Vessel for better survivability.
Group Trash Killer
Ethereals If you don't have any Ethereal Item equip Sacred Harvester and cube Staff of Chiroptera.
Concept In this high Greater Rift focused setup we use full Area Damage and the insane Attack Speed from Pain Enhancer to deal tremendous amounts of AoE damage to enemies. Our zBarb enhances our damage by adding Health Globes with Threatening Shout Grim Harvest and creating pixelpulls with Ground Stomp Wrenching Smash.
Gameplay Keep up Soul Harvest and Spirit Walk to survive and move through enemies unhindered. DoT up emeries with Locust Swarm and Haunt to get all your damage multipliers up and and regenerate Mana from Draining Spirit. Position yourself with Spirit Walk next to your Supports in dense monster pulls, use Hex for Spirit of Arachyr(4) Bonus and start channeling Firebats. It is important to keep channeling Firebats until your group wants to move again. Do not let go off Firebats before that or else you lose your Attack Speed snapshot (further explained in the mechanics section below). Pray to RNGesus to get an Oculus Ring spawn right under you to increase your damage even further!
Setups Without zMonk in the party, you cannot keep up Squirt's Necklace, which is why we go for Captain Crimson's Trimmings. At higher Paragon, you can replace Endless Walk with Squirt's Necklace and Convention of Elements. On the Passives feel free to change Swampland Attunement to Spirit Vessel if you prefer playing with a Cheat Death.
Firebats Cloud of Bats
Has a range of 15 yards around the Witch Doctor.
Has a ramp up time of 3 seconds to reach the full potential of 850% weapon damage.
Has an Attack Speed Coefficient of 2.0. The highest possible Breakpoint (3 Frames Per Attack) is achieved at 3.7501 sheet APS with Staff of Chiroptera at 47 Pain Enhancer stacks in this setup.
Attack Speed is snapshotted at the start of the channel, which means that if you start channeling a 3 FPA Firebats, it will continue attacking at that increased rate as long as you don't stop channeling.
Staff of Chiroptera
Gives Firebats a 150% separate damage multiplier which equals a 2.5 multiplier.
Halves Firebats Frames per Attack (FPA) but does not affect its mana cost. Firebats mana cost per tick is calculated this way:
Firebats base mana cost is 125 and its Attack Speed Coefficient is 2.0. In our situation, we have 10% Resource Cost Reduction (RCR), and benefit from the 75% less mana cost (Resource Coefficient) from Staff of Chiroptera. This mana cost per tick is then multiplied by our APS Breakpoint (without taking Staff of Chiroptera in consideration) to get the total mana channeling cost per second. For instance when the 3 FPA Breakpoint is reached, our mana cost will be 120.54 mana per second:
When applied, Locust Swarm will jump to another nearby enemy once every second.
When using the Creeping Death passive, this effect will stay permanently as long as you are in range. It will fade 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 will provide 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 others close but not pixel them.
In order to get the best pull possible, it should be used on a spot with no other nearby enemies.
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.
Put together the core items and acquire the full Spirit of Arachyr set.
Iconic and fun playstyle with Firebats.
Scales with Area Damage and can snapshot Attack Speed.
Lightning fast channeling ticks but cause of many server issues & lags (the DoT effect of Spirit of Arachyr(2) Bonus adds even more strain on servers).
DoT enemies up as much as possible and keep up Soul Harvest at all time.
Guide by Rob with special help from sVr, wudijo & Chewingnom. Updated by Chewingnom.