So there have been some unfortunate rumors festering around the interwebs. From what I’ve seen in recent Diablo 3 forums, it seems the general consensus is, “the Witch Doctor is the worst class in the game.” First off, that is just completely and absurdly racist. How dare you belittle the only African character class in the entire Diablo series. For shame…. Secondly, I believe the average Diablo player doesn’t truly understand the complexities of this class. While it definitely has the hardest learning curve, it by no means is the worst class. I’m going to post my current level 60 build of the Witch Doctor and hopefully this alters the opinions of the anti-Witch Doctor movement.
Slot/Skill and Rune:
- Mouse 1: Plague of Toads (Toad Affinity)
- Mouse 2: Soul Harvest (Soul to Waste)
- Slot 1: Summon Zombie Dogs (Leaching Beasts)
- Slot 2: Sacrifice (Provoke the Pack)
- Slot 3: Zombie Charger (Zombie Bears)
- Slot 4: Gargantuan (Bruiser)
- Passive: Spiritual Attunement, Zombie Handler, and Pierce the Veil
How to Play:
The most powerful skill in the Witch Doctor’s arsenal is Soul Harvest. This is an AOE buff that increases your Intelligence by 118 points for every soul captured and this can stack up to five times. With my current build this nearly doubles my DPS. The Soul to Waste rune doubles the length of this buff, making it last for one minute. With the cooldown on this skill under a minute, it is very important to monitor how much time you have left and keep your eyes peeled for mobs of enemies. I usually enter the center of a mob, cast Soul Harvest, and then escape to the outskirts to engage the enemy. With the Pierce the Veil passive skill adding an additional 20% to your damage, you can see how quickly your DPS will rise.
The two pets play a crucial role in this build. Your Gargantuan serves as your tank. He is designed to take damage and draw aggro away from you while you stand behind him and launch frogs. The Bruiser perk allows your big ol ogre buddy (Shrek, as I like to call mine) to stun enemies with a powerful smash move. Very effective in clutch situations where you might need to fall back and regain some health. The Zombie Handler perk gives you an additional Zombie Dog and increases the health of your Shrek and your pups by 20%. With the combination of Zombie Dogs and the Sacrifice perk, your poor puppies essentially function as suicide bombers. The damage caused by Sacrifice is huge! Each dog’s explosion deals 275% of your weapon damage. This is a fantastic way of clearing large groups of baddies. With the Provoke the Pack rune active you will also get an additional 5% damage for 30 seconds. This may not seem like a big deal, but with a solid Soul Harvest active, you could be adding a few thousand DPS to your attack. Be wary, the cooldown for Zombie Dogs is pretty long and it’s important to have another primary move to keep your enemies at bay.
This is where the Zombie Bears come in. I love this skill. Each stampeding bear does 236% of your weapon damage and with little, to no cooldown on this move, you can spam that beast until your hand cramps, or until you run out of mana I guess. Some people like to use Grasp of the Dead or Wall of Zombies to slowdown enemies, but if a stampede of decaying bears doesn’t slow them down, I don’t know what will. I frequently use this move and let me tell you, there is nothing more satisfying than seeing the rag-dolling carcasses of your enemies being overwhelmed by a horde of bears.
If you are having a difficult time finding a build that works for your Witch Doctor, don’t give up. There are so many different options with this class and in my opinion it’s the most versatile in the game. Every build I’ve seen online has been a little bit different and so far it seems there is no universal “best build” for the class. This makes playing and experimenting with the Witch Doctor that much more exciting. Feel free to try this build and let me know what you think. I’ve worked really hard at perfecting it and so far it has been working very well.