Witch Doctor Class
Choose the Witch Doctor class if you enjoy outsmarting the enemy, rendering them helpless and broken through hexes and transmutations. Once in control, you can either dive in for the kill with a devastating curse, or revel in the carnage your pets will deliver. Figures misshapen and undead bend to your will, as will reality itself — distorted, blurred and bloodied.
To go in-depth with the possible playstyles of the Witch Doctor class, refer to our specific build guides below. If you are looking for some quick tips and tricks on learning the Witch Doctor, please keep on reading.
The Big Spenders
In general, Diablo 3 builds revolve around a certain highly damaging skill or alternate form to slaughter hordes of monsters with. In the case of the Witch Doctor, this is the entire Secondary skill category ( Haunt, Locust Swarm, Firebats and Grasp of the Dead), and choice picks from the Voodoo category ( Gargantuan and Fetish Army) and 'Decay' category ( Spirit Barrage, Wall of Death). Get a feel for these skills — do you like the way they play out? Do you sense the pattern in their resource management? Can you predict the positioning required to deliver the most damage possible from your selected skill?
Pick one of the listed skills above that you like the most, then take a peek at our endgame build for said skill; try to play out in your head how the full rotation works. Early on, you might have to take an endgame build and adapt it a little — lacking the necessary legendary and set bonuses, you might suffer from lacking Mana and long cooldowns. Taking out a utility skill and adding a generator like Poison Dart Spined Dart might be a better route.
Numerous Witch Doctor endgame builds feature Soul Harvest, even ones that skip dedicated legendary items like Sacred Harvester and Lakumba's Ornament — and with good reason. Synchronizing with the basic fighting style in the game — finding big packs of enemies and blowing them up — Soul Harvest will boost your main stat, Intelligence (direct damage and toughness multiplier) and add a helpful debuff on affected enemies through the favored progression rune, Languish.
With the addition of the aforementioned items — either both or at least the bracer — Soul Harvest turns into a versatile, universally useful opener in battles. Note that it also serves as the main damage dealer in one of the highest tier endgame builds, the Jade Harvester Witch Doctor.
Spirit Walk and Grave Injustice
While other classes may boast a faster or a more independent mobility skill, the Witch Doctor's Spirit Walk has a uniquely potent interaction that makes it more readily available in battle, and in the right circumstances — a vastly superior defensive tool compared to the Witch Doctor's peers. This is due to Grave Injustice, one of the highlight passives in the game.
Grave Injustice restores Health, Mana and reduces all your cooldowns (most notably Spirit Walk, but you may have other important ones as well) by a second when an enemy dies in your vicinity. Pay heed to its interaction with Pickup Radius in your secondary stats on gear, and strive to obtain this (fairly common) stat wherever possible.
Crowd control tools are common in efficient endgame builds, and Witch Doctors have to adapt a little in that regard; Piranhas is expensive and requires a short cooldown, but (again) thanks to Grave Injustice, it will be up whenever you require it. Use the enemy pulling rune Piranhado and learn to place it carefully on the battlefield to maximize the draw of monsters, since this will result in safer and more efficient Soul Harvests, as well as maximize the AoE damage that you follow up with.
Learn the Arsenal of Items
Builds and skill choices are obviously important, but at the end of the day Diablo is a game about farming and equipping the right items. Learning which items will benefit your class the most, and then target farming them through gambling, upgrading rares into legendaries at the Cube and even reforging them into better rolls is crucial.
All 6-piece class sets (Helltooth, Zunimassa, Arachyr, Jade Harvester), as well as the 2-piece weapon set Manajuma's Way, bring a valuable and powerful playstyle to the class. Witch Doctors also have class-specific ceremonial knives and mojos, which are suitably valuable for the class — Sacred Harvester, The Dagger of Darts, The Barber, Uhkapian Serpent, Henri's Perquisition, to name a few. Witch Doctors also have useful staves like Staff of Chiroptera and Wormwood.
When it comes to early and impactful gambling, the helm and bracer slots are good choices for the Witch Doctor — the class-specific Voodoo Masks ( Mask of Jeram, Quetzalcoatl, Carnevil) and dedicated bracers like Lakumba's Ornament and Coils of the First Spider are foundational pieces for their respective playstyles.
Witch Doctors also have a few noteworthy belts and jewelry pieces, like Belt of Transcendence, Bakuli Jungle Wraps, the summoner-oriented The Short Man's Finger and The Tall Man's Finger, and the immense damage multiplier of Ring of Emptiness.
A Final Tip
Witch Doctors might seem like a far ranged class at first, but make a point to read carefully your chosen damaging and (especially) utility abilities and passives. You might discover you're much more efficient at mid-to-short ranges, considering active abilities like Soul Harvest and Horrify, as well as passives like Grave Injustice, Confidence Ritual and Swampland Attunement.
- 29 Oct. 2019: Page added.
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