Arachyr Firebats Witch Doctor Guide

Arachyr Firebats Solo Push

Introduction

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 Seasons 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.

While this build is fun to play, it lacks damage compared to the Mundunugu's Spirit Barrage Witch Doctor, which is the strongest build for Witch Doctor at the moment. 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 ✔
Crazy Attack Speed ✔
Medium Range Build ✔
Attack Speed Snapshot ✔

❌ Low Damage
❌ Low Toughness
❌ Not very Mobile
❌ Causes Tremendous Lag


Core Setup

Core Item Build

Items

  • 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.
  • Vile Hive spreads Locust Swarm quickly with Pestilence to ensure Ring of Emptiness and Bakuli Jungle Wraps up time, while still getting the damage reduction with Cloud of insects equipped.



Global Stat Priorities

Firebats Attack Speed Breakpoints

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 the Group setup the majority of our Attack Speed comes from the secondary additive 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!

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 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.

3. Gamble from Kadala in this order:

  1. The full Spirit of Arachyr set
  2. Bakuli Jungle Wraps
  3. Lakumba's Ornament
  4. Vile Hive or any Legendary Mojo for the start
  5. Convention of Elements and Ring of Emptiness
  6. Mantle of Channeling

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

  1. Staffs to get Staff of Chiroptera
  2. Ceremonial Knifes to get Sacred Harvester
  3. Rings to get Convention of Elements, Ring of Emptiness, Unity and The Compass Rose
  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:

  • Bounty Turn In: Recipe for Cain's Destiny (for your follower)

6. There is one final required piece to acquire, The Traveler's Pledge. With amulets being so expensive to gamble and craft, we'll have to search for it to drop in Nephalem and Greater Rifts. It can drop on any class so try to group up with friends when possible to share your loot!

Item Stat Priorities

SLOTITEMSTAT PRIORITY
Main-HandSacred Harvester
Staff of Chiroptera (Cubed)
1. Damage Range
2. Socket Ramaladni's Gift
3. Area Damage
4. Damage %
5. Attack Speed
6. Intelligence
Off-HandVile Hive1. Critical Hit Chance
2. Firebats Damage
3. Area Damage
4. Intelligence
5. Elite Damage
6. Vitality
HelmArachyr's Visage1. Critical Hit Chance
2. Firebats Damage
3. Intelligence
4. Socket Flawless Royal Diamond
5. Vitality
GlovesArachyr's Claws1. Critical Hit Chance
2. Critical Hit Damage
3. Area Damage
4. Attack Speed
5. Intelligence
ShouldersArachyr's Mantle
Mantle of Channeling (Cubed)
1. Area Damage
2. Intelligence
3. Cooldown Reduction
4. Vitality
5. All Resistance
Chest Arachyr's Carapace1. Sockets Flawless Royal Topaz
2. Intelligence
3. Armor
4. Vitality
PantsArachyr's Legs1. Intelligence
2. Vitality
3. Armor
4. Sockets Flawless Royal Topaz
BootsArachyr's Stride1. Firebats Damage
2. Intelligence
3. Vitality
4. Armor
5. All Resistance
Ring 1The Compass Rose
Unity (Cubed)
1. Socket
2. Area Damage
3. Critical Hit Damage
4. Critical Hit Chance
5. Damage Range
Ring 2Ring of Emptiness1. Socket
2. Area Damage
3. Critical Hit Damage
4. Critical Hit Chance
5. Damage Range
BracersLakumba's Ornament1. Fire Damage
2. Critical Hit Chance
3. Intelligence
4. Vitality
5. Armor
AmuletThe Traveler's Pledge
Squirt's Necklace
1. Socket
2. Fire Damage
3. Critical Hit Damage
4. Critical Hit Chance
5. Intelligence
BeltBakuli Jungle Wraps1. Intelligence
2. Vitality
3. Armor
4. Life %
5. All Resistance

Gems

  • 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 Swarm Pestilence from Vile Hive you will have this bleed on every mob.

Skills

  • 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 not mandatory anymore after the Ring of Emptiness change but is still recommended for all variants of this build to engage enemies, reduce their damage done by Cloud of Insects and maintain your Bakuli Jungle Wraps damage buff.
  • In Solo Piranhas Piranhado is used to group up monsters, debuff them and maintain Bakuli Jungle Wraps damage buff. The debuff also stays up almost 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!

Passives

  • 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.

Paragon Points

CoreOffensiveDefensiveUtility
1. Movement Speed1. Critical Hit Damage1. Armor1. Area Damage
2. Intelligence2. Critical Hit Chance2. Life %2. Resource Cost Reduction
3. Vitality13. Attack Speed3. All Resistance3. Pickup Radius
4. Maximum Mana4. Cooldown Reduction4. Life Regeneration4. Life per Hit

1 Add a bit of Vitality if you feel too squishy (a total of 600,000 - 800,000 Life is recommended).

Follower

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 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.
  3. Followers share 20% of their Experience, Magic and Gold Find stats with you.
  4. Legendary gems do not work on followers, except Esoteric Alteration and Mutilation Guard.
  5. Cooldown Reduction does not work for any follower skill except the Templar’s Heal.
  6. 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.

GR Pushing Scoundrel

GR Pushing Scoundrel

For Greater Rift Pushing we recommend this Scoundrel setup for the Critical Hit Chance from Anatomy, 10% increased damage from Piercing Shot, and the insane Critical Hit Chance cloud from Night’s Veil. Don't choose either of the first skill options as they apply crowd controls that we want to avoid. If you accidentally select one, you'll either have to live with it or make a new character to fix it as there is no way to de-select a follower skill :(.

Stat Priorities:

Since we have the immortality token, we do not need to stack survivability on our Scoundrel.

Dexterity > 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 Cain's Destiny: For more Experience and Attack Speed.

Gameplay

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.

Hardcore

This build is very squishy and it is hard to add additional toughness buffs. Definitively not recommended for HC!


Variants

GR Solo Push
Greater Rift Solo Push

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 at the end and additional toughness is added by cubing Unity.

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
If you are not tanky enough and lack recovery, change Mantle of Channeling to Coils of the First Spider and add a few more Paragon points into Vitality. At really low Paragon Levels (below 1,000) Piranhas can be changed to Summon Zombie Dogs Leeching Beasts for insane recovery. Also feel free to change Confidence Ritual to Spirit Vessel for better survivability.

Group Trash Killer
Group Trash Killer

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 Pixel pulls 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
If you are not tanky enough to keep up your Squirt's Necklace, replace it with Convention of Elements. Always start channeling at least 3 seconds before the Fire cycle to let the damage ramp up. Changing Mantle of Channeling to Coils of the First Spider is an option at super low Paragon (below 1,500) for more toughness and recovery. On the Passives feel free to change Swampland Attunement to Spirit Vessel if you prefer playing with a Cheat Death.


Mechanics

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:

Locust Swarm

  • 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.

Piranhas Piranhado

  • 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.

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.

Summary

  • 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.
  • Fire away!

Cheers everyone!

Guide by Rob with special help from sVr, Wudijo & Chewingnom.