Diablo 3 Witch Doctor Guide - Incarnation of the Voodoo Magic
Diablo 3 witch doctor build and guide
The goal of our Diablo 3 guide for Witch Doctors is to show you the build which can take you through early levels and help you to achieve low Torment difficulties. It unlocks farming for Legendary items that are necessary for the endgame builds. With this article, you will get to know which active and passive skills you should take, what items to look out for and which gems you might put in them for the best benefits. Also, we will be writing about some of the basic topics regarding the Witch Doctor class, as well as a little bit more advanced stuff. If you are new or semi-acknowledged with the game, then this guide is just for you. Without further ado, let's get started.
Table of contents:
Spiritual tribesmen who travel the world talking with the souls of those long forgotten. They have the ancient knowledge which allows them to control grotesque beasts and creatures which are trapped between the world of the living and the dead. They live in symbiosis with nature and the balance of the world. Their primary weapons are unusual as they fight using deadly charms, bottles of rotting substances, and poisonous mucus.
What makes them deadly is their ability to infect many enemies at the same time. They don't seem to be as strong as their appearance would suggest, so keep in mind that looks can be deceiving. Shamans can become real kings of the battlefield when underestimated. Their magic messes with senses. Their poisons break down bodies, and their summons tear the enemies into pieces, eating what's left of them.
As a Witch Doctor, your role will be to lead your pets into the battle throwing poisonous skills and making sure that everything at your sight is diseased. From afar, you will be watching your enemies dissolve into a wet pulp of flesh and blood. Avoiding close quarter combat will be the best call; however, from time to time, you might come in contact with large packs of unbearable monsters that you will have to slow down with your piranhas. If that won't provide the expected effect, you always have an ace up your sleeve, which is your army of minions. By entering the shadow realm with Spirit Walk, you can take cover behind the wall of flesh that you have summoned. Gargantuan will be there to soak damage that you cannot take and smash down everything that Zombie Dogs couldn't rip apart. In general, you aren't as squishy as Wizard but also not as tanky as Barbarian, so keep that in mind while entering a fight.
The build revolves around using the Poison element and spreading it through pets and Area of Effect skills. Your every fight opener starts with summoning Zombie Dogs along with Gargantuan which will protect you and deal damage at the same time. Make sure to resummon them as fast as possible when they die. Otherwise, you will be vulnerable to the enemies. Your playstyle should be as aggressive as your mana allows, which means that you will rush in front of your minions to use your active abilities (Haunt and Acid Cloud) to maximize the damage output. You can also control the larger groups with Piranhado, but if you stumble upon a danger, use Spirit Walk to go back behind your minion line.
Skills and Runes
Haunt with Poisoned Spirit - the main damage deal with a poison modificator
Acid Cloud with Lob Blob Bomb - poisonous Area of Effect skills
Summon Zombie Dogs with Rapid Dogs - pets that will add to your damage with a poisonous Rune modificator
Spirit Walk with Jaunt - movement enhancer to quickly travel between packs
Piranhas with Piranhado - another poisonous Area of Effect ability with a twist of Crowd Control
Gargantuan with Big Stinker - another pet with Area of Effect poison cloud around itself
Summons deal a significant part of your total damage, so they should be present in fights at all times. The first ones come from Summon Zombie Dogs' ability. Even without proper equipment pieces, they provide a decent damage boost and additional way of spreading your poison to all enemies they can reach. Another of your summons is a Gargantuan. This one acts a little bit different than the dogs as he spreads the poison around himself, which means that everything he gets close to loses its health.
Even though this build might seem like a summoner, your main damage source does not come from the pets but from your active abilities Haunt and Acid Cloud. By imagining a pack of wolves, you can picture what kind of playstyle you should be trying to achieve. You will be the leader of the pack, which goes in the first place leading his subordinates to the fight. While doing so, you want to spread both Haunt and Acid Cloud as much as your resources allow you to. When taking too much damage, you can always cover behind the wall of minions, which is always by your side. This way, you will be doing much more damage while staying safe at all times.
As mentioned, Spirit Walk is your only movement ability, and because of that, you want to pair it with Jaunt Rune to maximize its efficiency. You will be using it often to get from one pack to another, but do it wisely as going forward too much might be deadly to your character. If you find yourself in danger, you always want to have it at your disposal to run away, so make sure not to waste it when you are in harsh zones.
Last but not least, we have Piranhas with a Piranhado modifier. It is taken to maximize the Acid Cloud Area of Effect as well as to provide basic Crowd Control, which might be helpful at times. Piranhas help bolster the damage of other skills while also providing an excellent addition to the damage by itself.
Zombie Handler is your first passive ability, which bolsters the synergy between you and your pets. It adds a generous 20% health to both you and your summons without any penalty. On top of that, you will be able to summon one additional dog that will aid you in the battle, which means a slight boost in the damage.
Midnight Feast is yet another passive that increases the number of your Zombie Dogs by one. This time, however, the skill itself doesn't provide an increased health bonus but improves the DPS of your summons by an additional 50%.
Pierce the Veil will be your third choice that comes with one significant flaw. At the cost of 30% increased Mana usage, you will gain a 20% boost to all damage done. Although during the early game, it might seem hard to get enough resources for everything a good management in this matter and health globe pickups at the right times should be enough to fix that problem.
Fetish Sycophants will give you a 15% chance to summon Fetish, which will aid you in a battle for the next 60 seconds. As these pets rely on your highest elemental damage on gear, as well as Fetish Army skill percentage that you have, they are much better pets with greater damage than both your dogs and Gargantuan.
Upon getting a Legendary piece called Belt of Transcendence, you can switch your Fetish Sycophants passive into something different. In this section, we will show you a few options to choose from.
Grave Injustice - gives 1% Life and Mana while also reducing cooldown durations by 1 second when the enemy dies nearby. One of the best passives which can turn you into an unstoppable force when many trash monsters are surrounding your character.
Gruesome Feast - when taken, Health Globes regenerate 10% of maximum mana and 10% Intelligence for 15 seconds. This bonus can even stack up to 5 times. Decent replacement for Grave Injustice if you have a keen eye for Health Globes.
Spirit Vessel - might also be a viable choice, especially if you are playing on a hardcore mode. It is a cheat death mechanic which will heal you back to 50% health after 2 seconds of taking fatal damage. On top of that, it reduces the cooldown of your Spirit Walk by 2 seconds.
During your gameplay, you will come across countless pieces of gear. It will be up to you to decide whether they are worth keeping, or if they should be thrown away. It comes with a lot of experience, as early on, players tend to struggle with this matter as they lack knowledge about the topic. It is why we will describe the statistic priorities that you should be looking out for. You can determine which gear pieces are better by comparing the amount of essential statistics that they possess. Below you can find which ones on each of the parts of gear are more valuable than the others.
Helmet - Intelligence > Crit Chance > Socket > Skill Damage
Bracers - Intelligence > Crit Chance > Elemental Damage > Vitality
Pants - Intelligence > Sockets > Vitality > Armor
Rings - Intelligence > Crit Chance > Crit Damage
Shoulders - Intelligence > Vitality > Armor > Skill Damage
Gloves - Intelligence > Crit Chance > Crit Damage
Boots - Intelligence > Skill Damage > Vitality > Movement Speed
Weapons - Weapon Damage > Intelligence > Sockets > %Damage
Chest - Intelligence > Sockets > Vitality > Armor
Belt - Intelligence > Vitality > Armor > %Life
Amulet - Intelligence > Crit Chance > Crit Damage > Elemental Damage
Source - Damage Range > Intelligence > Crit Chance > Skill Damage
On your gear, you should prioritize Topaz gems over everything else. For weapons, the best one that you can get is a high-level Emerald. Amethyst will be your go-to gem when it comes to the helmet slot. Finding Jewelry that has a socket as well as a high Crit Chance statistic means that you can start using Legendary Gems. The best ones for the early game will be those that can boost your damage. Wreath of Lightning, Pain Enhancer, and Gem of Efficacious Toxin are what you will be looking for at this stage. However, later in the game, as you get stronger, you want to improve better ones which are used in endgame builds. Those gems are the Bane of the Trapped, Simplicity's Strength, Esoteric Alteration, Bane of the Stricken, and Enforcer. Since they scale well, make sure to level them up as soon as possible.
Reaper's Wraps - Since the active skills of Witch Doctor are quite heavy on the resources, you may want an item that can help manage that. Reaper's Wraps are perfect for this task. You can get them from Malthael on any difficulty, and they will give you 25% resource recovery on every Health Globe pickup.
Ring of Royal Grandeur - It is one of the best choices when it comes to early game Legendary items as it lowers the number of equipment pieces needed for a set bonus by one. It means that if a particular set bonus requires six parts, with this ring five will be enough.
Pride's Fall - Reduces the cost of spells by 30% after 5 seconds of not taking damage. Since you will always be trying to keep your distance and take cover behind the minion wave as soon as things get dangerous, then this bonus will be at your disposal almost every time.
Zunimassa's Haunt - It will be your go-to set, which focuses on improving your champion's synergy with pets. On top of that, it also drastically improves Fetish Army with just two set pieces making them last until they die.
Cindercoat - Improves the effect of Fire skills and drastically lowers their cost. If you stumble upon this item, you might want to switch your build into a fire aspect to get the best value out of it.
Tasker and Theo - One of the best items in the game for pet users which tremendously increases the attack speed of your summons. Since Witch Doctor uses many at once, it is an equipment piece that you should get as soon as possible.
Carnevil - Another Legendary item which makes Fetishes shoot poison darts when you do. Although it will need some build adjustments, it is an excellent DPS increase.
The Grin Reaper - Gives you the chance to summon mimics, which will cast your abilities. Another significant DPS increase is worth equipping.
The Dagger of Darts - Your poison darts will pierce with this Dagger. If you can get your hands on one witch Poison modifier, your DPS will skyrocket. Synergizes greatly with Carnevil and combos with the Fire element, and Cindercoat can be the best weapon.
Starmetal Kukri - Another weapon focused on improving your Fetish Army. It reduces the cooldown related to them when they take the damage. Try to find it with a poison modifier for the best potential.
Thing of the Deep - Although its bonus might not seem that great, it is deceiving. Increased pickup range on Health Globes can be a real lifesaver at times, so this is an especially useful item for a Hardcore mode.
Henri's Perquisition - A mojo that can significantly reduce the damage that you take. The first time you will receive a hit, its negative effects will be reduced by 65%, and the enemy will be charmed for three seconds. It means that Henri's Perquisition is a fantastic choice for boss fights when the first hit is usually deadly and for a Hardcore mode where reduction of all incoming damage is much sought after.
After reaching for your first paragon points, you want to focus on maximizing your Movement Speed bonus up to a 25%, which will help tremendously in farming speed. Your next choice is Intelligence, which will boost your damage potential. However, if you feel like struggling with your resource expenditure, then you can invest some of the points into Maximum Mana. In Offence, you will be prioritizing on Crit Chance, Crit Damage, and Attack Speed. For your defensive purposes, you will aim to get Armor over Life Percentage, followed by Resist All. Last but not least, in the Utility category, choose Area Damage, Resource Cost Reduction, and Life on Hit.
Our Witch Doctor guide for the Diablo 3 game is over, but we can offer you more than just this one article. On our blog page, you will find countless guides for your favorite games, as well as other texts that relate to Diablo III. Whether you are looking for Witch Doctor leveling build, fresh 70 guide, season 19 leveling build, WoW farming tips, or updated patch notes, you will find there all of them and more.
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Who are the Witch Doctors?
In primitive cultures, they are the doctors who treat ailments that they believe were caused by witchcraft.
How many classes are there in Diablo 3?
Currently, there are seven available and playable classes in the game.
Which pets are the best for Witch Doctor?
Fetishes that come from Fetish Sycophants passive.
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