Diablo 3 Witch Doctor Comprehensive Guide

Diablo 3 Witch Doctor Comprehensive Guide by uzr


You might wonder what kind of fool writes a skillguide to a game that haven’t even been released yet. Well, to put it short I’m an fairly experienced Diablo II player who always wanted to dabble in the art of writing. Ever since I stumbled on the oh so famous Fishymancer guide I’ve wanted to put my thoughts on something into writing, so I decided to take a shot at it now. Another important factor in my decision to write something half-way serious is that it encourages thought process not only for me but for the would-be reader, which I like :3

In Diablo II I played mainly a fishymancer and a psnnova mancer, for the duration of up to eight years. So WD is the natural progression of that mindset. I spent most of these years pillaging in the pits for them loots. Cooming from that into this new Diablo III I was directly looking for a build that suits a similar kind of playstyle. A build that provides fast killing speed with flexibility, redundancy and survivability. Probably what most builds look for, right?

After dabbling in the beta and the skill calculator I found something that I think will satisfy my needs in a build. I think I can assess the viability since most of the skills I will use was granted in the beta.

Note also that this can’t be and won’t be some kind of attempt of me to tell anyone how to play the game THE BESTEST, but a documentation of how I will approach the game cooming in with the mindset I have. Let’s move on.

The table
#1: The skillsets
#2: Whats and Whys
#3: Playstyle
#4: Items and Stat Prioritizing
#5: The follower
#6: The journey to 60
#7: End

#1 The Skills

So the build I have in mind is a summoner/sacrificer with high flexibility and survivability. I feel that the skills/runes I’ve decided upon meld together into a very nice rounded out build with few wasted aspects. I try to make the absolute most out of everything. Also I will post two very similar skillsets, one for when I just hit 60 and start to MF for real. The other one for “later 60” when I’ve had the time to grab the gear I want so I’ll be allowed to drop some survivability for some killing speed.

Skills ~60

Skills ~60+

#2 What? Why?

Poison Dart(Splinters)
A must have in my opinion to offset the otherwiseheavy aoe focus. For bosses and annoying elites.

Firebats (Cloud of Bats)
Since my build wants to benefit to the fullest from Grave Injustice I will want to keep fairly close to my targets as much as possible when they die. Thus making Firebats my ideal mana-sink, with cloud of bats rune for extra damage.

Grasp of the Dead(Unbreakable Grasp)
An overall nice utility spell, if things go wrong with the revival of your dogs you can always play keepaway until you can get some new up with thisskill. Also help with keeping the mobs from moving around too much helping with your setups for sacrifice.

Sacrifice(Next of Kin)
The bread and butter with Next of Kin rune to keep the uptime on yourzombie dogs to a maximum.

Zombie Dogs(Leeching Beasts)
Zombie dogs without them there’s no bang in the sacrifice :D Leeching beasts for survivability in boss encounters and strong elites.

Mass Confusion(Devolution)
Solid CC with Devolution for extra spawnrate on your dogs, furthering the potential uptime thus your killing speed. High CD but Grave Injustice will help with that.

Jungle Fortitude
You’ll be in the fray, potentially taking damage. Your dogs will be taking damage. And in unison with Zombie Handler, your dogs should be able to tank decently.

Zombie Handler
One more dog means more boom, also bring 20% hp to the table. Which will help in hunting the harder prey.

Grave Injustice
One of the cornerstones in this build, it does everything for you. More hp, more mana and cuts down that high CD on Mass Confusion and Summon Zombie Dogs. However forces you closer to the actual fighting that you might want to be, but we will compensate for that :)

Endgame changes

You see I’ve changed firebats for Locust Swarm with Searing Locusts rune because I see this doing potentially more damage than firebats. Zombie Dogs got a new rune for damage instead of survivability. And depending on how well I do in the itemization department I might consider dropping Grasp of the Dead for something that furthers killing speed.

#3 Playstyle

Small packs

I imagine just mowing throu these with firebats, keeping up the pace.

Mid size/Large Packs

I see this playing out sorta as my poison nova necromancer, let my zombies/follower get into the fray ideally getting surrounded by atleast 8 mobs (Too try and ‘guarantee’ maximum revival after the sacrifice). Value the situation and then go in, open with some firebats. Confuse and then sacrifice the dogs, keep this up until I have less than 4 dogs and go back to firebats to hopefully pick up some new spawns from a lingering confuse. In case of elite survivor I either let my dogs tank and spam Darts or play keepaway with Grasp + Darts if my dogs are not around to do their secondary task.


With the skillset and items I plan on going I see my dogs being atleast halway tank the boss, if not. I’ll run alot and spam darts whenever I get the chance. Not the best of plans, but I hope my dogs will atleast do a half decent job of tanking.

#4 Item / Stat prio

Initially I will play this with a shield and a one hander, for obvious reasons. I will be in the fray alot doing damage with my firebats and I don’t want to die. Mitigation is key. Until I reach a desirable amount of the third most integral stat to this build namely Gold and Health Globe Pickup Range, how much that will be or if it’s even possible to get it in high enough to make me satisfied I won’t know for a while. But here is how I will prioritize stats.

I’ve seen rares with 6 modifiers even in the beta, so I will work from the assumption that we’ll get atleast 6 modifiers on the best of gear.

1) Intelligence
Damage/Survivability to both you and your dogs.
2) Vitality
Survivability to both you and your dogs.
3) Gold Pickup
The most important stat to boost your grave injustice and allow you to go “Tier 2” Kinsman :)

After I get these three in an amount that satisfies me I’ll start thinking about swapping that shield and go for an off-hand or perhaps a two hander depending on what drops for me and what’s out there in general. And depending on which skill benefits me most in later stages of the game, sacrifice heavy I’ll most likely go for the 2hander. For the other skills I’ll be leaning towars off hand.

4) Undecided
For now I like to keep this slot open :) Will be dictated by what I feel is necessary. Perhaps
mana reg or defense. Or maybe I’m covered with that so I can go right into more damage.

5) Gold Find/Magic Find
Well yeah, gold find synergizes better with the pickup I’m already getting. And as a player I’m more leaning towards killing faster than stacking MF.

6) Damage!
Right now I’m thinking that I’d benefit most from crit, but who knows. Because I’ll be going for the big bang sacrifices. Another I’ll play it as I see fit. When I’m there.

#5 The follower

Everyone is all uppidy about how awesome Diablo III multiplayer is going to be, and not without reason. But when I get down to actually playing “seriously” and doing some heavy grinding. I play alone. So to me and to my build the follower will always play a significant role, however small his damage might be in this game. I want him to survive to grant me extra MF/GF and benefit me as much as possible. And the natural choice for this build is the Templar.

Items: MF!GF! Roar!

Skills: http://eu.battle.net/d3/en/calculator/follower#0111

A solid build to make me survive better, and granting me more mana reg. Onslaught might be changed due too it being to weak to help me with bosses, charge would then provide good utility with it’s AoE stun.

#6 The journey to 60

Do whatever, play around. We can actually change stuff around these days :3 However, dogs + soul harvest + firebats + poison darts will be my way until the gear makes soul harvest less and less desirable.

#7 The end?

If you’re still reading, thanks for reading. Hopefully what I’ve put into word will give someone a new perspective on his or her own build. I’ll say during the hours of thought I put into this my build has been smoothened out and evolved. If anyone have any thoughts on my ideas, the guide or just wanna call me a blazing idiot for writing a long !@# guide pre-release please gimmie a holler and I’ll look at it :D

Also, when I’ve hit level 60 and actually played the full build for a while I’ll come back and revise the entire build based on my findings. And with the added -actual- knowledge of the game and it’s inner workings.

I wish you all the best of luck and fun in your Diablo III experience. <3


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