When I first got my hands on the Diablo 3 beta, I immediately went for the Witch Doctor. Yeah, the pot-bellied old-fart wasn’t your regular savior, but he had that Necromancer thing to him, and after spending countless hours in developing a level 89 Barbarian that could Whirlwind its way through Baal’s guts in Hell in Diablo 2, I thought it was time for a change.
Yes, the concept remains somewhat same, but there’s a vast difference between the two. While the Necromancer got its supremacy from a huge set of army and terrifying curses that could make even a Barbarian tremble, the Witch Doctor is somewhat toned downed in-terms of indirect damage, and instead has skills that give him more direct methods of hardcore damage.
Things have changed ever since the retail release of Diablo 3, and ever since it got patched a few times. The Witch Doctor now is widely regarded as a powerful nuker. It’s hard to call the WD a pure DPS. Yes, he/she does have some skills that give the class a DPS kind of feel, but for me, and most of the other people, the WD plays as a powerful nuking mage.
The class gets this trait from its set of heavy-damage and large DoT skills, along with the limited and slow-recovering Mana pool. The Mana pool greatly limits you to doing large bursts of damage with chained skills, then recuperating, and repeating the same thing again.
So, after hours of shamanic shouting and observation of each and every tremble of our Caribbean-accented hero, I’ve finally managed to come up with an Inferno build that works brilliantly. Note though that you’ll need some pretty badass items to go along with this build. We’ll discuss them, but will keep it general – I don’t want to be nick-picking specific gear for you.
Diablo 3 Witch Doctor Inferno Build
Spirit of the Forest Summoner – Click To Open Build
Excuse the long name, it’s just that I like to come up with descriptive appellations for builds. Inferno is no place for a skinny old person to walk around, unless he’s wearing a Voodoo Mask and carrying around a dead chicken in his left hand.
As a WD, you need to be careful about two things: health and mana. This means not getting lost inside crowds of enemies, but letting your summons do the work and take up all the aggro, while you cast deadly spells to maximize the damage. Once you’re out of Mana, consider taking a walk, and the resume your voodoo stuff.
The moment I unlocked Fire Bomb, it became my primary skill. Stuff like Corpse Spiders and Plague of Toads is completely worthless if you ask me, and Poison Dart is only good for Normal, after which it becomes relatively weak, despite the pretty good runes. So, Fire Bomb it is, and in order to get some AoE damage, it should be combined with its most powerful rune, Ghost Bomb.
A lot of people actually prefer Pyrogeist as well, but its randomness makes me paranoid, and I can’t rely on it for too long, which is why I would always recommend an AoE attack like Ghost Bomb. Plus, it goes very well with the next skill.
Yes, the next skill is Acid Cloud. What’s so great about this skill is it lacks a casting time, has an amazing AoE coverage, and does an insane amount of equal damage to all enemies.
If you have lots of crit, then you’ll really truly enjoy using Acid Cloud on packs of enemies, especially when they’re all busy trying to mow down your summons. This combines brilliantly with Fire Bomb, and I like to consider it as a nuking ability.
A great alternative to Acid Cloud is the Zombie Bears rune that comes with Zombie Charger. This ability is OP, and will get rid of crowds within a second.
The only problem is that it leeches mana like a bitch, and you will be very vulnerable to attacks while channeling it. This is especially problematic when you are facing elites with crazy lava and arcane beam skills. So, that’s why I prefer Acid Cloud.
Now, I don’t really like the summons that come with the rest of the classes, but the Witch Doctor is somewhat a spiritual successor of the Necromancer, so it’s obvious he/she will be packing some serious undead dope. For me, if you ain’t summoning as a WD, you ain’t doing it right. Of course, this isn’t stone-graved, since the class does have some pretty sweet non-summoning skills.
So, that’s why I like to use Gargantuan and Zombie Dogs.
No Sacrificial Zombie you ask? Nope, we don’t want to blow up our puppies, because they’re giving us sweet, sweet life. Yes, Zombie Dogs will leech enemies thanks to the Leeching Beast rune, and will equally divide that leech as health amongst themselves and you.
Now 9% weapon damage doesn’t sound like much, but there are 4 Zombie dogs (4 thanks to the passive).
Multiply that with 9 and you get 36%. At this stage of the game 36% of damage, especially from critical hits, will grant you a tremendous amount of life, which is more than just a good bargain. Plus, let’s not forget that these doggies develop aggro, allowing you to toss out Fire Bombs from a distance.
One of the long time staff at SegmentNext, Haider is an integral part of the team with a love for writing, playing guitar, and aviation.
Apart from writing for us, Haider is also a competitive FPS player and also enjoys exotic RPG games like Diablo and Xenogears (his favorite game of all time) on the side.