Witch Doctor Guide

Diablo 3 Witch Doctor guide submitted by dudetheiii.

I have been playing the Witch Doctor since the game came out because I thought I would enjoy the class and I still do. I am a level 59 witch doctor and I am now at act 4.

I just soloed act 3 with relative ease. Anyway, you probably have come across a similar or perhaps identical build to mine because I think it is really the only way to progress through nightmare and hell.

Let me explain my choices for this particular build and how you should play the witch doctor.

First of all, Poison Dart Splinters is an amazing move. Lots of constant damage at low mana cost. So if you don't have the mana to use dire bat you can rely on this guy. Also, since it is a long range move you have the ability to kite.

Dire bat is terrific. The range is enormous unlike zombie bears. Though zombie bears is good it lacks range and you can't kite. In addition, the animation time for zombie bears is longer so you are vunerable to attacks. Furthermore, your damage output from zombie bears is minimized because the bears run all over or some run into a wall and only a couple actually hit the mob. Dire bat is one of the witch doctor's hardest hitting moves and allows for amazing kiting and cleaning of swarms.

Spirit walk is just a must. It is such a great utility. It is such an absolute life saver. It will make you lose aggro so your pets or teammates will tank for you. You can break certain crowd controls that the enemy will drop and you are invincible. It is also an amazing skill when it comes to kiting. Need I say more? I personally like to have the honored quest rune because it will keep my mana up so I can spam dire bat. Occasionally you may have to switch the rune depending on the situation or the boss. For example, I went with Jaunt against Azmodan to get away from his black pools.

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Soul Harvest is mandatory. I know people like to try different things but you really can't do without this spell. I pick siphon as my rune to maintain my life. In addition, it increases your damage output immensely. For each monster you soul harvest you hit you gain 130 intellect. That is insane! You also gain resistances! Yes please?

I decided to go with zombie dogs and gargantuan because of the fact that you need tanks. The dogs don't last super long but they at least serve as a distraction. I opted to go with the rune leeching beast on the dogs so they are more durable but also I gain some health as well. Also, after a bit of testing leeching dogs have higher health than the other dogs. 

I chose bruiser on the gargantuan because not only does he have more health but he has that nice stun. That stun is great at maintaining elites. In addition, the bruiser gargantuan does more damage overall compared to the other gargantuan. Try to keep these guys up at all times. They are needed to keep you alive.


So now for the passives. At times you will need to changes these but this is going to be your typical build. 

I used to use zombie handler. That isn't a bad pick but jungle fortitude is better. It still makes your monsters tankier but you are also tankier.

Pierce the Veil I really feel is a must. You want to be dealing lots of damage to clear those mobs. The longer fights last the worse it goes for you. In addition, your tanks don't last forever so you had best drop those mobs down pronto! Also, if you don't have a bit of damage you will almost never be able to take down those elites.

Finally I opted to go with Vision Quest. This passive is so amazing. This is how you do so much damage. You keep regenerating mana to spam dire bat. It will also help balance out Pierce the Veil.

Remember that at times you may need to switch your passives. For example, I occasionally use spirit vessel against a boss. That way I have greater kiting but a means to survive so I can heal and stay in the fight. You will get an idea when you need to switch things up for a fight.


So the rotation you want to go for is as follows. 
  • You want to summon your tanks. 
  • Keep summoning them even if you are not in fights to reset those cool downs to make Vision Quest live. 
  • When a fight breaks out, let your monsters tank. 
  • You can than spirit walk into the mob and use soul harvest. 
  • You will heal and increase your damage. 
You run back behind your tanks and begin dropping dire bats for insane damage. If you don't finish the mob just continue to kite and throw back an occasional dire bat or poison dart and use spirit walk to keep up your mana. 

One last tip! Dont feel like you need to fight every mob. In fact, certain mobs you may not be able to beat. A vortex, mortar, and arcane elite group is basically impossible to beat and isn't worth your time. 

Try to just run past them. Spirit walk away and perhaps you will need to switch your spirit walk to jaunt. Just keep that in mind.

Anyway, I hope you enjoyed this guide/build. I hope that it is of some use to you. I think this is the only real way to play in hell mode.